As I mentioned in my last posting, the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International held an exhibition in the foyer of an office block during the week. I was the curator of the exhibition, assisted by Chieko Yazaki and Sally Wilkinson. Of course, such an exhibition is only possible because of the contribution of the many members of the Chapter and their assistants. 

I have been advised by my senior mentors that a curator should only contribute a very simple arrangement if they are going to participate in an exhibition they are curating. I am not there yet, but getting better at 'simple'.

I chose agapanthus for my subject material as it has only just finished flowering, but has not finished being a fascinating and versatile material. One of the joys of ikebana is the way in which we are invited to regard botanical materials in all their parts and phases of life.

I posted the photo above, of an ikebana arrangement I made for a friend using agapanthus flowers, on Christmas Eve. In this arrangement the focus is clearly the upward reach of the flowers on their long stems and spaces created.

When agapanthus has finished flowering the stems harden and large numbers of seeds are produced. At this stage of its life it takes on a new spiky appearance if the seeds are removed and being only green it looks decidedly fresh. As an exhibition material it has the added virtue of holding its colour for a long period and not wilting.

This was my ikebana for the exhibition. My intention was for the work to be seen from all around. However, for the purpose of photography, I have placed a shoji screen at the back. I have massed forty-eight stems tightly together to create a large strong vertical column as the principal line. In a separate glass vase I have submerged a single late-season flower that I found growing at the edge of the creek. Between the two vases I have created a mass of flower-heads that visually connect the two elements. 

In this view the space between the two vases is clearer. This arrangement is probably not really 'simple'. However, I was able to prepare the vertical column in advance and bring it as a finished element to be installed in the venue.

I hope you will enjoy these photos from the Bourke Place Exhibition.

Greetings from Christopher
10th March 2018

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