Last week I began my post with some photos showing the sculptural qualities of the Sydney Opera House. I have realised there is a connection with ikebana, and Sogetsu Ikebana in particular.
Ikebana is quite distinctive because of the sculptural quality of the forms we create. It is interesting that old black and white photos of ikebana still look attractive, whereas traditional western floral art in black and white tends to look a little bland. This is because of the emphasis on line, mass and space, in ikebana compared to the primary emphasis on colour in traditional western floral art.
Last week, in my teacher Elizabeth's class, we were set a decidedly sculptural exercise: of making a work from non-botanical materials only. These are usually man-made materials and the exercise has been included in the new Book five of the Sogetsu curriculum.
The exercise becomes an exploration: encouraging us to create a form using materials with properties that are not to be found in botanical materials. I decided to use A3-sized sheets of card, choosing colours that I thought would be harmonious .
I began by cutting the red and purple sheets into thirds. The blue sheet I cut further, making thin strips as well. I wanted to utilise the flexibility of the card to make some twisting curves, like in the red sheet on the right and the purple on the left.
The card did not have enough strength when arched, so (plan B) I created a blue cylinder as a support to increase the height of the sculpture. I think I need to repeat the exercise to find ways to increase the strength of the structure.
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The local shire council in Torquay held its annual 'Arts Trail' last weekend. In this event local artists open their studios to the general public. Two of my students from my U3A class and I participated again this year.
This 'basic upright' arrangement was made by Frances.
Val created a dramatic freestyle using strelitzia leaves from her garden and snapdragons.
I broke a vase while working with this material; so 'plan B' turned out to be a freestyle work using two black plastic suibans. The materials are Japanese Flowering Quince, Chaenomeles and an apricot branch.