Sunday, 22 December 2013

Some recent events...

On 3 December there was a celebration at the Japanese Consulate to mark the birthday of the Emperor of Japan. Different schools from the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International. take turns to create a floral arrangement for this occasion each year.
This year Naomi Cullen, from the Ichiyo school, made the arrangement below. It was placed in the main room, where Mr and Mrs Sobashima welcomed four hundred guests.

On November 11 the Sogetsu chapter held its final workshop for 2013. Lara Telford set the challenge of making a free-style arrangement based on one of the five traditional oriental elements, namely, fire, water, earth, wood and metal. 
Examples of Lara's demonstration can be viewed on the Sogetsu web-site by clicking on the following link and scrolling down to 'RECENT WORKSHOPS'

On 16 December there were ikebana demonstrations by five different schools as part of the Melbourne Now exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria - Ohara, Shogetsudokoryu, Ichiyo, Ikenobo and Sogetsu.

A festive Ohara arrangement with liliums and pointsettias

Getting ready for a Shogetsudokoryu arrangement.....

Two Ikenobo arrangements

And as can be seen there was considerable interest in the display of the arrangements at the end of the demonstration!

There are more photos of the Sogetsu arrangements presented at this event on Christopher James' blog

The program for the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International in 2014 has been finalised and looks very interesting.

Our first meeting will be on Tuesday February 11 2014 at the Toorak Uniting Church Hall, 603 Toorak Road, Toorak, starting at 10. 30 am. The workshop theme will be Red Hot Tuesday, as befits the season, and all arrangements should reflect this concept in some dimension - colour, feeling, or alternatively, some more abstract reference. .


Monday, 9 December 2013

Arrangements to celebrate the season

First of all, an important diary date :

Ikebana Masterclass at the Melbourne Now exhibition

On Monday 16 December five Melbourne Ikebana schools will demonstrate at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV International), 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, as part of the Melbourne Now exhibition.

There will be two sessions in the Community Hall, which is located in the foyer on the ground floor

11 am Ohara school
                             Shogetsudokoryu school

2 pm Ichiyo school
             Ikenobo school
             Sogetsu school

                                         *             *            *            *            *

At the last general meeting for 2013 of our I. I. Chapter we had a very festive array of celebratory arrangements...….
 Ohara arrangement using vibrant peonies, finished with gold and silver mizuhiki

   arrangement  using the traditional New Year colours, red, white and green

              .....pine, as a symbol of longevity, is often used in arrangements at this time of year

Monday, 2 December 2013

Ikenobo exhibition and the Japanese festival

The recent Ikenobo Chapter exhibition at the St Kilda Town Hall

provided a beautiful framework for the cultural activities which marked the twentieth anniversary of the association between the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne and the city of Obu in Japan. Despite Melbourne's rain there was a lively crowd trying out calligraphy, manga art, ikebana, origami and a traditional tea ceremony.

Learning about manga

More ikenobo arrangements by students and teachers

The centrepiece, a magnificent Rikka arrangement -

The Ikenobo Chapter, as a group, arranged a small landscape which featured bamboo and traditional fans, to symbolise the long friendship and goodwill between Obu and the City of Port Phillip.

For those participating in the tea ceremony, something sweet to complement the slight bitterness of the tea....

Monday, 28 October 2013

IKENOBO News and SOGETSU events


"Soul of Ikebana"

From Wednesday 13th November until Friday 15th November

At St Kilda Town Hall auditorium (Melway 2PF9)
8.30 am  -  5 pm
Contact :

The exhibition is part of the twentieth anniversary celebrations of the partnership between the City of Port Phillip and the city of Obu in Japan. 
There will also be a series of free cultural workshops on Wednesday 13 November between 10 am and 12 noon. Ikebana, Origami, Manga, Tea ceremony, Japanese calligraphy. Bookings are essential.
 For more information: 03 9209 6838 or

Shimputai rikka arrangement by Mrs Yukako Braun ( Photo by Mrs Yuki  Kojima)

Sogetsu events

At the Sherbrooke Art Gallery in the Dandenong Ranges between 12 and 17 October 2013 several Sogetsu school members mounted an exhibition of their work. This year the native waratah,Telopea speciosissima has been spectacular and several arrangements featured this.

Mr Yoshiro Umemura, visiting from Sydney, conducted another exciting, and challenging, workshop for teachers and Sogetsu members on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October

 Workshop themes 

1. Free style using only Gymea leaves and Monstera leaves
2.Disassembling and rearranging materials
3. Composition featuring straight and curved lines

There is a more extensive range of photos from the workshops on the Sogetsu website

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

CHABANA - tea flowers


Spring continues to be busy!

A Sogetsu ikebana exhibition at the Sherbrooke Arts Society, 62 Monbulk Road, Belgrave from 12th -16th October, 2013 as part of the Spring Art Show. Ph: 9754 4264

An exhibition of botanical art in dialogue with Sogetsu ikebana from 4 October until 4 November 2103, upstairs at 51 McKillop Street, Geelong, 10am - 4pm daily.
Contact: 0401 160 430

At the general meeting on Tuesday October 8th there was an array of fresh Spring arrangements. The art of Chabana, or arranging flowers to harmonize with the tea ceremony, was explored. Some suggestions were :
-that the flowers selected should not be strongly scented;
-that the container should not be unduly imposing - a simple container is preferable;
-that according to traditional there are two elements, the first set towards the guest and the second towards the tea master or host;
-that arranging the material is kept to a minimum: ideally the flowers are 'arranged' while being collected and then simply placed into the container;
- that it is not appropriate to use a kenzan although a wide-mouthed container may need a simple cross-strut to help maintain a pleasing position.

Three arrangements by Thea Sartori, Sogetsu teacher, who led the workshop.

 A beautiful, glowing lacquer ware container based on a design many centuries old.

A simple bamboo container with roadside grass, including an unopened bud (hidden from view), as a symbol of hope and opportunity

      An arrangment with the Australian native, Dryandra, some seed capsules and plantain grass

                       Eiko Roskam and Kyoko Kamakura provided tea and Japanese delicacies.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Hanami Day and the Annual Exhibition of Ikebana International

Hanami... the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing, 
More than 16,000 people came to the National Rhododendron Garden in Olinda this year for Hanami Day. Although the cherry blossom itself was late the gardens were a riot of colour.jn the Spring sunshine.And there was japanese drumming, koto music, sumie, calligraphy, origami, and ikebana. What a bonanza! If you missed the occasion mark your diaries for September next year. Perhaps even consider participating?

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Last weekend Australian Plants Expo 2013 was held at St Sava's Church Hall in Greensborough. It is an annual event and showcases native plants and many environmental issues. Ikebana International organised a display...... 

Australian natives tend to have a subtle beauty, of colour and texture. Their struggle to survive in relatively harsh conditions often produces a straggling habit, which may provide some interesting lines for an ikebana arrangement, such as with this xanthorrhoea flower stem.

Emily Karanikolopoulos also demonstrated using Australian native flora and material......

And there are several exciting ikebana events on the horizon. 
Add these dates to your diary now....

......The Gasworks Arts Park at 21 Graham Street, South Melbourne will be the venue for the annual exhibition of the Melbourne Chapter of Ikebana International. From Tuesday 17th September until Sunday 22nd September, between 10am and 4pm. With a cafe on-site friends can enjoy the exhibition as well as share refreshments, so make sure you spread the word.

......There will be an exhibition of Sogetsu ikebana at QDOS Gallery in Lorne by Christopher James and his students, in conjunction with an exhibiton of ceramics by Graeme Wilkie. From Sunday 22nd September until Sunday 6th October. The complement of ikebana and Graeme Wilkie's pots in past years has been spectacular. QDOS Gallery also has a sculpture park and cafe. See for more details.

......Also on Sunday 22nd September the National Rhododendron Garden at The Georgian Road, Olinda (Mel 66 K6) will celebrate spring with Hanami or Cherry Blossom Day. There will be ikebana arrangements scattered around the beautiful gardens and a demonstration of ikebana techniques at 11 am by Lara Telford. Japanese food, spa treatments, calligraphy and bonsai as well.

So much to choose from!