Saturday 18 April 2020

Peaceful Joy - Hanami series 2

Sour cherry (Prunus cerasus), bamboo vase
Naturalistic freestyle

Traditional ikebana often combines one "tree material" and one "grass material". Tree materials are mostly branches, while grass materials are flowers and other plants growing from the ground. Combining the two kinds of plant material brings out their character since they are contrasting each other. As an exception to this rule blossoming branches are often arranged on their own as a single material arrangement, ishu-ike in Japanese.

This sour cherry has small white single flowers reflecting the light. Seeing blossoming trees always fills me with peaceful joy. The flowers are delicate and full of energy at the same time. Naked branches with gentle slanting movements.

To stay with the character of these branches I decided to arrange them in a naturalistic freestyle based on the basic slanting style. This is a style that invites us to experience that heaven is not only over us, but also all around us.

When you feel a peaceful joy, that's when you are near truth.


Saturday 11 April 2020

The Energy of Spring - Hanami series 1

European beech (Fagus sylvatica), Flowering cherry (Prunus ’Accolade’)
Bamboo shaped porcelain vase
Freestyle Nageire Sakura theme

Each season has its own energy. When buds on trees and flowers open a vigorous force is released. It is a time for inspired action. This is beautifully expressed in a quote by the Irish poet John O'Donohue: When one flower blooms, spring awakens everywhere. In contemporary ikebana the energy of spring is often expressed by the use of curved lines.

In this ikebana arrangement in a tall nageire vase, spring winds are allowed free expression in a composition of beech branches with buds. These curved lines are combined with a branch of Accolade flowering cherry, representing the calm epicenter of circular winds. What I wanted to catch in this design is the overwhelming experience of being in the here and now of a unique moment, expressed in the Japanese saying "Ichigo-Ichie" - an encounter that happens only once in a lifetime.

What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.

Kobayashi Issa

There are many kinds of cherry trees. The one used in this ikebana is Accolade cherry, a dreamy hybrid cherry with semi-double pink flowers that open from darker buds. It's one of the first cherries in bloom in the springtime.

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