This looks like being another busy year on the ikebana front, starting with the first meetings of the Victorian Branch of the Sogetsu School * and also Ikebana International Melbourne, * Chapter 29, taking place next week. On each of their websites is a listing of the program for the coming year.

Last week marked the beginning of formal ikebana activities in 2016 for me, with the first classes for my Geelong and Torquay-based students. The theme of the first class was: 'Memories of Summer Holidays'. It turned out to be a fascinating topic that was interpreted so differently by each of the students. I found their very personal explanations of their work quite touching. 

The first two photographs below are by two new students doing their first 'freestyle' arrangement at only their ninth class.

Andrea had gathered some fig branches from her beach house. As you can see the leaves had started to wilt in the heat of her car. However, this made her very aware of the beauty of the veins on the back of the leaves and that became the subject of her ikebana.

Jo brought along materials from her home garden: spent agapanthus flowerheads, an almond tree branch and overblown Mr Lincoln roses. This arrangement contrasts straight and curving lines. 

Maureen created this work that includes 'unconventional' (man-made) materials which represent the clues in a treasure hunt she set for her grandchildren at Christmas.

A couple of days later some of the children became sick. The twisted canes in this work represent the 'knots' in their stomachs. 

Christine spent much of the summer in her large garden where the pear tree has borne more fruit than ever before.

Ellie revealed three memories of summer from her childhood. Above, driving through the Australian countryside.

Exploring rock pools at the beach...

...and carnations, the first flowers she was ever given, as well as the hydrangeas along the side fence of the house they lived in at the time. Notice the three stems that represent the fence, braced across the ceramic trough.

Greetings from Christopher
7th January 2016

* Click on the blue text for further information

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