Sofu Teshigahara, the founder of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, was an artist whose output encompassed a wide range of media. In addition to his ikebana works, using botanical materials, he also was an accomplished potter and a sculptor who worked with wood, stone, metal, found objects and mixed media.

For students of the Sogetsu school, working in a variety of media gives us a deeper understanding of artistic expression and encourages us to look beyond the surface appearance of materials, including those from the botanical realm. There is a very interesting 1/2 hour documentary of Sofu * on Youtube, that explores the range of his output and his approach as an artist and teacher. 

A week ago Emily Karanikolopoulos and her sister Lucy Papas lead a workshop for the local Sogetsu Branch on the topic: 'That which cannot be expressed by plants (by using inorganic materials only)'; an exercise in learning about sculpture, using principles we have learnt from our ikebana studies.

Above is an example of Emily's work, from last year's Sogetsu exhibition in Melbourne, emphasising strong geometry and surface texture.

This is my experiment from the workshop. I have used fine, square-meshed wire formed into two cones, one inverted against the other. I then looped some grey tubing so that it was spilling out from one of the cones. I really like the way the overlapping of the mesh creates an airy, rippling effect and is contrasted by the 
mass of the dark tubing coils.

More photos from the workshop * can be seen through this link.

I would like to draw attention to an exhibition Japanese Bamboo: baskets, sculpture and other artefacts * in the Pauline Gandel Gallery of Japanese Art at the National Gallery of Victoria. It is on for the next month only. Don't miss it if you are in Melbourne.

Greetings from Christopher
10th July 2016

* Click on the blue text for further information.

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