Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Abstract Cala Lily - Mass and Lines

Flowers only, straight and curved lines, mass and line.
Ishu-ike, abstract freestyle, moribana.

I found these magnificent Cala lilies at the market square today. They were exactly what I needed. Nice fall colours and long, ferm stems - perfect fore the challenge I got for this weeks class at my ikebana teacher: To make a variety of mass and line designs using the same material.

Flowers only, straight lines, mass and line.
Ishu-ike, abstract freestyle, moribana.

Mass and lines are two of the fundamental elements in ikebana. By showing different kinds of lines, basically straight and curved, in contrast with massed materials a peaceful balance is achieved.

In the teachings of the Sogetsu School it is usually said that the third fundamental element is colour. Christopher James, a friend of mine who is teaching ikebana in Melbourne, argues that it makes even more sense to exchange colour with space when it comes to the essentials of ikebana. The importance of space in Ikebana is, according to him, growing from the early Buddhist tradition of the triptychs, with the middle screen always depicting a “sacred” empty space. So, space has a traditional cultural connection to spirituality in Japan and is extremely important in ikebana. Maybe even to the extent that we should say "mass, line and space" rather than "mass, line and colour".

I find it to be an interesting observation that points out an important thing to keep in mind. When you think about it, the arrangements in this blog post are actually even more about the open space created between the lines, than the actual lines.

Flowers only, straight and curved lines, mass and line.
Ishu-ike, abstract freestyle, moribana.

The exercise of this blog post exemplifies in a good way that all parts of the plant is equally important in ikebana designs. It's not all about the flower part. In these arrangements the shapes of the stems are the main feature.

A couple of the stems had double sets of petals (I've never seen that before on a Cala), which helped a lot when it came to fixing the flowers against each other.

Flowers only, straight lines.
Ishu-ike, abstract freestyle, moribana.


Marlinskiy said...

the third photo looks really nice. But rest of all have unnatural lines. I think flowers looks much better when they have natural lines. I think any kind of natural lines are the only way to achive a peaceful balance when you work with flowers. But I do not know anything about the ikebana =)

nordic lotus said...

Thanks for your opinion Marlinskiy. I guess many people would agree with you that naturalistic lines are more harmonious than the abstract ones. You can create balance with really loud and busy lines too, though. In this case the very straight lines are natural to the flowers. By showing them as straight as possible I bring out the character of the material in an expressionist abstraction. In my next blog post I will use the same flowers to show curved lines. Although those lines are not natural to these flowers, most people would probably feel that curved forms and organic abstractions are more harmonious.

Inger-M said...

Beautiful, I love them all, but 1 and 3 are my favorites! :-)

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