Laurie and I recently attended a luncheon at the Geelong Art Gallery * , at which the table was decorated by a staff member, Mary-Ellen, who is a friend of ours. In a true Roadside Ikebana style she had gathered small Plane Tree branchlets that had been blown down in a windstorm and used them to decorate the long table along with a number of very long Gymea leaves. Her husband had collected a large bunch of wild-growing Arum lilies; but these were not used, and the flowers heads of Asiatic lilies graced the table instead.

After the lunch Mary-Ellen offered me the no- longer-needed materials. Being school holiday time, I did not have a class and so declined the offer. However the upshot of our conversation was a request that I create an ikebana work for the front desk. I happily agreed and the following day brought a large black porcelain vase by Alister Whyte to the gallery for the arrangement.

The leaves were exceptionally long, which worked well in the high-ceilinged space, by placing two of them vertically, back to back. I then created some rectangular forms with four other leaves to give some mass at the base of the work. The dry branches were placed on one side with a couple of the arum lilies. I was very relieved that all the materials held up well for a week in the temperature controlled environment.

Greetings from Christopher 
22nd October 2016

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