Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Norwegian Romanticism - Japanese Style

My ikebana teacher is invited to exhibit at a rose exhibition in Oslo every summer. Believe it or not, the event takes place in a chocolate factory. The chocolate is not the best, but the garden is beautiful and the cantine has real Edvard Munch paintings mounted in the walls. This is a cultural institution open to the public only during spesial events.

I was asked to do five arrangements for this years exhibition, and decided to make it a tribute to one of the most important Norwegian writers on his 200th birthday: Henrik Wergeland, very nationalistic, but aslo a champion for liberty, democracy and international cooperation. Wergeland was a romanticist and very fond of roses, so that's the conection. Flower symbolism was an important feature of his writing. In this series of ikebana arrangements the overwhelming poetry of Wergeland is interpreted in the more precise style of ikebana. Two cultures with a strong and close relation to nature meet, the Nordic and the Japanese.

I've named this arrangement "A long way from home". It refers to a song for the childrens parade at the Norwegian national day, May 17th. As far as I know it has not been translated. I post it any way for those of you who read Norwegian:

Mer grønt er gresset ingensteds,
mer fullt av blomster vevet
enn i det land hvor jeg tilfreds
med far og mor har levet.

The rest of the exhibiton can be seen through this link. It's also in Norwegian only, sorry about that. Most of the arrangements are by my ikebana teacher. The five at the bottom of the page are mine. Rose festival Oslo 2008

The exhibition is also presented on the Norwegian blog Moseplassen.

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