Tuesday 27 January 2015

Imaginary Gardens - Opening

I'll be doing a couple of ikebana arrangements for the Swedish artist Love Enqvist's exhibition Imaginary Gardens: Weeding and Watering, coming up in Varbergs Konsthall, Sweden. The exhibition is running for almost three months so I will be using materials that can last long. The opening is later this week, Saturday January 31h. Stay tuned for pictures.

Saturday 24 January 2015

Last Week: Ikebana + Crafts = TRUE

Freesia, aluminum wire mesh, Birch Witch's Broom, vases and objects with clipped glass.
Untraditional materials, mass and line.

Back home from the opening of the last week of the exhibition ikebana + crafts = TRUE i feel grateful and content. It has been great working with Kunsthåndverkerne i Kongensgate and an inspiration to meat people at the opening demonstrations these three weeks. The focus of the third week is glass works by Ina Kristine Hove. She has also an exhibition running at Buskerud Kunstsenter where you can see more of her works.

Japanese umbrella pine and Freesia, glass vase with plastic mesh.
Basic upright style.

Since glass has a totally different character than ceramics the feeling of the ikebana arrangements of this week have a more airy and fleeting feeling to them. The first arrangement is a traditional basic upright style demonstrating the philosophy of ikebana with three main branches. In this arrangement I also showed a bit of nageire (arrangement in a tall vase) techniques as a way of fixing the branches. The Japanese umbrella pine was chosen as a material that complements the red plastic mesh of the vase.

Cala lily, Liriope Muscari grass, Bergenia leaf, glass vase with colour stripe.
Focus on water, curved lines.

A glass vase with a yellow spiraling line made the starting point for the second arrangement, which is a more modern freestyle. The movements are below the surface in this arrangement focusing on the water as a life giving element and on the transparency of the glass. The curved lines and bright colours reveals a hidden life moving around under the surface, sometimes reflecting what is going on   in the world above.

Apple branches, Freesia, Cala lily.
Simplified arrangement, Hana kubari.

Simplified arrangements fascinate and attract peoples eyes. Maybe it's the escape from the many complex situations of life that gives a feeling of being able to breath freely. In the last arrangement I've worked with the contrast between one transparent and one opaque vase with clipped curves.  Apple branches are attached to the brim of the vases and works as hanakubari, flower holders. The Freesia and the Cala lily are reflecting the different characters of the vases.

View from outside the window.

Photo: Svein G Josefsen

Wednesday 21 January 2015

2. Week of Ikebana + Crafts = TRUE

Weeping willow, Juniper with lichen, moss, Thuja, Chrysanthemum.
Landscape morimono, curved lines.

The focus of the second week of the exhibition ikebana + crafts = TRUE is raku ceramics by Ragnhid Winsvold. In the ikebana works two new round raku fired objects are presented together with a large yellow vase. For the demonstration I used bowls with lids.

Thuja and Lisianthus.
Upright fan style, variation no 3.

For the first arrangement of the demonstration I had chosen an interesting low container with  distinct dark lines in the glaze with added white blossom shapes. Unfortunately the wonderful silverly inside didn't show that well since the lid had to cover most of the dish to balance. The shape inspired me to create a fan style upright ikebana, a variation of the basic upright style.

Appel branch, Gerbera, Bergenia leaves.
Naturalistic freestyle.

A yellow bowl with a round seed like shape was opened up so that the lid swung out to the side. This formed the base for an Apple tree branch with yellow lichen that gave shape to the arrangement. Colour and space was added with yellow Gerbera.

Weeping willow, Lisianthus, Thuja.
Simplified arrangement.

Raku ceramic is closely related to the Japanese tea ceremony. The earthy simplicity of the tea wabi tea tradition has also inspired the development of simplified arrangements in contemporary ikebana. For the last arrangement of the demonstration I created a very simple ikebana consisting of one single twig of Weeping willow and one stem of Lisianthus. A little piece of Thuja was added to emphasize the open space under the lid.

Photo: Svein G Josefsen

Friday 16 January 2015

First Week of Ikebana + Crafts = TRUE

Spruce, Snow berry, blue yarn, Chrysanthemum, Long leaved pine.
More than one container, curved lines, mass and line, untraditional materials.

The first week of the exhibition ikebana + crafts = TRUE is almost over. Each week will present one larger and three smaller sized arrangements. The first week I had the pleasure to work with wood fired ceramics by Michiko Takahashi Nilsen.

My Japanese friends felt that the large arrangement in the window was a bit like a New Years arrangement with its use of pine. Being at the very start of the year it was also my intention to hint to traditional arrangements without making it a proper New Years ikebana. I was also thinking about boats pulled up on the beach for the winter. It's the season of stillness.

Pine and Roses.
Basic slanting style moribana.

For the second arrangement I used a shallow bowl with grayish blue glaze on the inside for a basic slanting style ikebana, also with pine. It's always useful to include a basic style when explaining the philosophy behind the different elements of the arrangement.

Weeping Willow, Bergenia leaves, Chrysanthemum, Thuja.
Curved lines.

Moving on to a bowl with a more round shape. In this case the plant materials were chosen to enhance the shape of the bowl. Weeping Willow is also a material associated with New Year. Withered winter leaves help us to appreciate the season, while pink flowers add an accent and bring a promise of spring.

Alder branches and French tulip.
Hana-mai inspired arrangement with three vases.

In the last arrangement I wanted to use a group of new vases that were fired a couple of weeks ago. They have a fantastic glaze and the shape is good for just one flower or so. Keeping the interesting swirls in the glaze in mind, I decided to make a Hana-mai (dancing flowers) inspired arrangement.

Photo 1-3: Svein G Josefsen
Photo 4: Brith Dybing

Thursday 15 January 2015

Opening Demonstration

The first part of the exhibition ikebana + crafts = TRUE at Kunsthåndverkerne i Kongensgate opened last Saturday. I held a small demonstration, made some ikebana and talked about the philosophy behind the arrangements. It was a great experience to work with the wood fired ceramics by Michiko Takahashi Nilsen and to meet with the people that came to see the exhibition of ceramics, glass and textile.

These photos are by my friend Brith Dybing who helped me with the documentation.

Friday 9 January 2015

Ikebana + Crafts = True

Welcome to exhibition opening tomorrow, Saturday January 10th, at Kunsthåndverkerne i Kongensgate Oslo.

I will be doing ikebana arrangements in contianers from the exhibition. The first week will be with wood fired ceramics by Michiko Takahashi Nilsen. The exhibition will be rearranged every Saturday. Januar 17th I will work with raku ceramics by Ragnhild Winsvold and Januar 24th will be with glass by Ina Kristine Hove. The exhibition also features textiles by Randi Hartmann.


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