Monday, 22 April 2013

Ikebana and Sculpture - Rosalie Gascoigne

In this blog post I'm simply going to show you a couple of sculptures by New Zealander-Australian sculptor Rosalie Gascoigne (1917–1999). Rosalie Gascoigne held her first serious exhibition at age 57. Nevertheless she is recognized as a major figure in the Australian art world.

The reason I want to draw your attention to this artist is that she started up as a Sogetsu ikebana practitioner in the time that Sofu Teshigahara was leading the Sogetsu School. Dissatisfied with the limitations of this art form, she later went on to working with sculpture and assemblages, first small scrap iron sculptures and later wooden boxed assemblages, composed of materials she found in her environment.

Rosalie Gascoigne, Steam, 1972-3.
Steel,  copper and grass.
This passage from ikebana to sculpture in many ways echoes Sofu's work with scrap metal sculptures and found objects. In Sofu's case, however, there is no definite distinction between ikebana and sculpture. It would be interesting to look more into the history behind the career of Rosalie Gascoigne, and how she came to the decision to leave ikebana behind in her artistic work. Maybe this Gascoigne quotation gives a hint:
"Things in other peoples [sic] work influence you and I am all for that as long as you make it your own thing. You know, you want to speak louder than they do when you have finished." (Mary Eagle, ‘Letters to Martin 1971–1980’ in From the Studio of Rosalie Gascoigne, 2000, pp. 53, 55)
Rosalie Gascoigne, The Crop I, 1976.
Salsify heads,  galvanised wire,  galvanised iron.
I have choosen two early works that in my opinion could also have been categorized as ikebana. Rosalie Gascoigne also made more complex assemblages with a variety of found objects. If you want to see more of her works you could start by visiting the collection of Art Gallery NSW and this flickeflu set by Hellblazer.

Melbourne based ikebana artist Shoso Shimbo will present a paper on Gascoigne at a conference in Osaka in May this year. The paper "Ikebana to Contemporary Art: Cross Cultural Transformation in Rosalie Gascoigne" is due to be published. Look out for more information on Shoso's blog.

Installation Plain Air, 1994, Charles Nodrum Gallery.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails