For our pre-deepavali october workshop, the theme agreed upon was "All-Leaf". The challenge for us Ikebana artistes was to create compositions, using only leaves. Of course, in hot and humid Chennai, leaves are in abundance, and in a sense collecting ...

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"Ikebana and us" - 5 new articles

  1. The all leaf challenge - October workshop
  2. September workshop - another look at hues, tints and colour
  3. Working with hues and tints - August workshop
  4. July workshop - Haiku--Poetry and Ikebana
  5. The 90th anniversary celebrations at Tokyo
  6. More Recent Articles

The all leaf challenge - October workshop






For our pre-deepavali october workshop, the theme agreed upon was "All-Leaf".  The challenge for us Ikebana artistes was to create compositions, using only leaves.  Of course, in hot and humid Chennai, leaves are in abundance, and in a sense collecting material was not a problem.  However, using them together, to complement the vase and to maintain the principles of Ikebana, that was the challenge

 
Twelve of us gathered on Oct 14th at the ABK hall to try our hand at this, with sensei Trishala demonstrating first off.

 Her first composition was a moribana.  She used a large eart-coloured suibin, with a beautiful jade interior.

Combining Clearodendron, Dressina, Pandanus and using the Crotons for a contrast in colour, the all-leaf omposition showed a lot of water, and the inner colour of the vase also formed part of the composition.




 For her second composition, Trishala used a ceramic nagiere vase.  The vase had an interesting metallic sheen and texture, adding drama to the vase.

We all wondered how she would tackle this vase, whcihc seemed to provide a challenge by itself!

And this was the dramatic result.
Tall Crinum leaves added height and drama to the composition,
Caladiums and variegated dressina provided mass, while the stalk of 
palm balanced the linear composition, as did the trimmed umbrella palm
With those inspiring demo pieces, we got down to work.
Sensei Dalley used leaves of the Sea Grape, with assorted material from her garden, to create this composition that reminded us of Autumn.

Chitra Thiagarajan also used a nagiere vase, but combined line and mass with umbrella plant, caladium, dressina and croton leaves for this striking composition.

With lines that seemed to flow from the vase through the composition, sensei Malathi created this magical all leaf composition with aspidistra and leaves of the spider lily.

Sensei Divya created this tabletop composition  with this common decorative leaf, contrasting it with the terminalia leaves in the foreground.

Bhuvana used palm, lily leaves and crotons in this naturalistic moribana all-leaf.

With vases that seemed to match the ABK curtains, Chelvi's arrangement was a study of surfaces, combining monstera leaves of various sizes and shades quite beautifully and dramatically.

Pushkala experimented with sansavera and assorted unidentified material from her environs in this moribana.

Ambika used a black ceramic vase, and complimented the twist in the vase with the spiral of the dramaitc brown dressina.  this was balanced by the yellow an green crotons lower down, while the new rose leaves mirrored the colours of the dressina.

Sensei Janaki looked to contrast the spikes of the bamboo leaves with that of the Mast tree, and used the colourful crotons to highlight the vase colour as well/

    

September workshop - another look at hues, tints and colour

Sept 13th 2017

We gathered for our Sept workshop at the ABK hall.  Ten members attended.  This was our second workshop on the monochromatic colour theme, with the experimentation with tints and hues.

Demonstrating this time was sensei Janaki, who did a splendid job exploring pink and white in her two compositions.

A beautiful composition exploring the various hues of pink, in a deep pink straw basket.  The anthuriums were placed  providing depth, the jerberas reflected the colour of the basket and the orchids brought balance.
Another view
"Signs of Spring" was sensei Janaki's title for this composition in white, with chrysanthemums, anthuriums and baby's breath.  The tint of green in the anthurium stamen and stems of the flowers were the tint that was highlighted.
Chitra Rajan worked with purple with lagerstroemia branches expanding the scale of the arrangement, exploring the darker tint with the croton leaves that she used lower down and complemented her vase.
The orange circular vase used by Ambika led to her exploring orange and its tints.  She tried to work with several materials and combined amaralys lilies, ixora flowers, carnations, Rangoon creeper and hypericum berries.  A Pomogranate fruit reflects the colour and shape of the vase.
Bhuvana used her deep red/black bowl as the colour to explore, and her composition was a beautiful composition of red/black, with croton leaves, hypericum berries, and jerberas.  The arrangement had depth and explored the surface/mass aspect of the leaves as well.
Sensei Malathi worked with a tall jade nagiere vase, exploring the entire range of hues from lighter green, through jade, to a tint of black-induced mauve.
Sensei Prerana used a beautiful  green ceramic nagiere vase and complimented it with the green anthurium and the pale green miniature chrysanthemums and button chrysanthemums.The mauve stamen is reflected in the mauve centres of the pink chrysanthemums which celebrates hue. The white tint is highlighted by baby's breath.
Sensei Trishala also worked with green, and the brown/rust in her vase was reflected in the chrysanthemums.
Chitra Thiagarajan used the white and brown of her vase (which is a bag!) as the base colour, to create this balanced and unique composition in white and brown.
Sensei Molly explored yellow with her wooden moribana vase, with the sunny yellow jerberas and the slightly deeper heliconia, the yellow/brown berries and the brown frond of the palm.

It was a challenging and interesting set of two workshops, working with single colours.

Next month's workshop theme is all leaf.

    

Working with hues and tints - August workshop

19th August 2017

The Chennai Study Group took on an interesting, challenging theme for the August workshop.   The theme was working with a single colour, and its hues and tints.



The vase and composition were in effect to be monochromatic, with tints of shades in the same colour spectrum.

Sensei Molly, despite running a flu, demonstrated this theme, with three different colours and textures for her vases.

Thirteen members were present and we also had a Japanese guest in Ms Megumi Shimada and her husband.  Megumi san is a research scholar attached to the Japanese Consulate and has come to the city recently.

For this beautiful rust coloured vase, sensei Molly tried using red initially, but then created this beautiful composition that reminded one of autumn, with the various tints of rust and brown. 



The same arrangement from a slightly different angle


She then moved to a delicate tall glass vase, with a light shade of pink.  For this composition, she focussed on the pink in her vase, and worked with a tint of white as well.
The focus colour is pink, with the white of the centre of the Asia Lily being carried into the baby's breath



Sense Molly's last piece was a composition in purple, with the beautiful balance
between the colours on the vase and the choice of material.

The members then got down to trying their hand at single colour compositions.  The arrangements have been organised by colour, to highlight how even within the same colour, compositions can look completely different.

Sensei Prerana and Chelvi also worked with purple, with different approaches.

Sensei Prerana worked with a mass of Sweet Williams, to reflect the hue of her vase,
with the purple dendrobium orchids adding line and depth.

Chelvi, also used dendromium orchids in her purple nagiere vase, but added beautiful line and space with dressina to match.

Sensei Trishala, and Shylaja experimented with white.

Sensei Trishala used a white "U" shaped vase, and explored the green tint in the
stamen of the white anthuriums which she matched with green dressina and
a green ribbon on the surface of the vase.



Shylaja created an all-white arrangment with jerberas and roses and Baby's Breath.

Chitra Thiagarajan was inspired by the mauve of her vase, which she matched with the driftwood, dressina and
the mauve of the button chrysanthemums and the  tinge in the berries, from which she explored green as well.
Sensei Divya had an unusual composition in green, cleverly working yellow and cream tints into the arrangement.

A top angle view of the same arrangement
There were several "yellows", each quite different from the other.

Bhuvana use yellow jerberas, chrysanthemums and carnations in a bright yellow container, exploring the tint of brown.

Sensei Ambika on the other hand provided height with Tecoma flowers, while the surface of yellow croton leaves and the yellow reed brought movement lower down, complementing the curve of her yellow vase.



Chitra Rajan also used yellow crotons and chrysanthemums in a yellow dish, and the white inner surface of the dish, was complemented with the cream tinted rose as a Shin line.

Satya had a unique piece, all in brown.
Pushkala's composition was the only one in red, and the brilliant ixoras matched the vase which she had interestingly covered in red cord.  The pink tint was added for relief.

The three demonstration arrangements once again

Sensei Malathi handing over a small memento to our guest Megumi san
It was wonderful to have our member Satya take pictures in her Nikon camera, far better than the usual phone camera pictures that we normally post!  We hope to see her regularly in our meetings!
    

July workshop - Haiku--Poetry and Ikebana

July 8, 2017
Janaki presenting the summary of accounts
and Secretary's Report
The study group  resumed after the summer break  amidst much excitement and was well attended, with 16 members present. 

The workshop   got under way with a summary of accounts and Secretary’s report presented by Janaki.  Mrs. Malathi Pandurang announced the themes and resource persons for the coming months.

Ambika creating the tranquil  pond scene
Sensei Ambika chose a wonderful theme for her demo—“My experience with haiku and ikebana” and briefly introduced members to haiku poetry. She read out translations of two  poems that inspired her to do the arrangements. Ambika had written her own haiku to celebrate the welcoming carpet of yellow flowers in her parents’ garden. 

Members were fascinated by the concept and the facility with which Ambika recreated verse into perfect ikebana pieces. 


Of three arrangements she did, the first one was based on a frog jumping into a pond and the stillness broken by this. The simple materials she used were perfect for a pond scene and a pebble was thrown in to show the frog jumping. Ripples were created using thin flexible twigs and the end result was a feeling of tranquility amidst nature. 

 Furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

Breaking the silence
of an ancient pond
a frog jumped into water
a deep resonance


Matsuo Basho
One can feel the stillness of the pond.  Anthurium leaves, lemon grass, Amaralis lilies, berries and jasmine branches for line.
Ambika moved on to the next arrangement evocative of an ancient well overgrown with morning glory and a tangle of creepers that make it impossible for the poet to access the well water.  She skillfully depicted this with a brown nagiere vase, ferns and allamanda.

asagao ni
tsurube torarete
morai mizu

Morning glory
The well bucket entangled
I ask for water

Fukuda Chiyo ni  


The tangle of morning glory covering the well, a brown nagiere vase, 
ferns and allamanda being the ideal choice for this 


 The beautiful yellow carpet fades
as the gnarled tree watches.

Ambika

Inspired by the haiku poems Ambika wrote this poem recalling the pretty yellow carpet of flowers under the bottle brush tree in her parents' home. She used a peltaforum branch, yellow chrysanthemums and fallen Peltaforum flowers to showcase this beautiful scene.

The welcoming carpet of flowers under the bottlebrush
 tree in Ambika's parents' home


The members then got down to doing their pieces on minimalistic freestyle and it was a treat to watch so many interpretations of the theme. 

Sensei Malathi  used a light green vase to showcase her aspidistra leaf interestingly split,  and a solitary Copsia for a touch of colour.
Sensei Trishala reflects the angular vase using anthurium flower  and leaf.
Pushkala chose an abstract vase resembling a seated lady
gracefully balancing the subtle pink flower and leaves
Prerana’s arrangement is minimalistic with the single large alocasia leaf
depicting strength. The flower though colourful is shy and hiding behind the leaf. 
Sensei Prerana has used the sweep of the spray can to showcase  a single sprig of purple orchid
The flat vase, twigs and interesting placement of anthuriums create a wind blown effect by
Sensei Meenakshi  
 
Sensei Dalley used tall grass, pink flowers and brown nagiere vase in this 
simple cheerful piece. An additional ceramic piece adds an element of interest

White plumeria  flowers and dracaena in a blue ceramic nageire vase
 was Sensei Divya’s choice for flowers fresh from the garden.
Chitra Thiagarajan created a natural look with a tree bark  as a base for dracaena and orange zerberas.
Bhuvana used a fragile looking bright blue vase with a designof cracked lines. She used  dry twigs to match the crisscross lines and bright orange zerbera for colour.
Pastel pink contrasted with deep maroon; simplicity and grace combine to make a pleasing arrangement by Sathya
Sensei Janaki chose allamanda and calladium from her garden, using two  vases to blend the various coloursin a seamless arrangement.
We look forward to the August workshop.
    

The 90th anniversary celebrations at Tokyo

Four senseis of our Sogetsu Study Group Chennai attended the 90th Anniversary celebrations at Sogetsu HQ in Tokyo, from the 5th of April until the 10th April 2017.

Details of the exhibition are in the link below.




Our Senseis Malathi, Prerana, Trishala and Meenalskhi, returned, inspired and motivated, with lots of memories and experiences.  For us in the Study Group, the award received by Sensei Malathi was a double bonus!

Sensei Prerana recalls:

  "Seeing the school for the first time is awe inspiring.Before entering u r struck by a huge rock with the Sogetsu emblem carved on it.Walking through the school had a very sublime effect on me.The celebrations were in full swing with everyone so engrossed in creating Ikebana."

Sensei Akane writes in the Sogetsu website:"  I decided to entrust the venue design to design office nendo led by world-renowned designer Mr. Oki Sato, and arrange a collaboration with artists who belong to the Tomio Koyama Gallery."
The workshop

Prerana - "The workshop was a learning experience coupled with some humour by the Ikebana Sensei Koka Fukushima.  It was art and craft incorporated with subtleness."

The workshop handled by Sensei Koka was to update teachers regarding the textbook 5 curriculum. 



Sensei Koka is an old friend of Chennai having visited us and
demonstrated in the city,
two times in the past.
With a portrait of the Late Iemoto Kasumi
Exhibit on the 5th Floor
In the Japanese room

2nd Floor exhibition


The award ceremony and the demonstration

Settling down for the start of the event.
The Award Ceremony was solemn. Mrs. Abe was the chief guest for both Award Ceremony and the Performance.

Six senior Awardees received their awards individually. Their citations were read out, and handed over amidst applause and bowing.

The other awardees names including sensei Malathi, came on the screen, with supporting photographs.

The citation and scroll were handed over later on, and here are some pictures of the aesthetically and beautifully written award.







A proud moment for all of us in the Study Group and we congratulate our Chairperson on this much deserved award!


Sensei Malathi recounts - "The ikebana performance by Iemoto Akane in the sprawling  amphitheatre was superb. There was drums, shamisen music performance while she performed. Also hi tech simulation and art side by side. It was a very dynamic and unusual show. "

The day was Grand, punctual and efficient in all ways.There were 1360 delegates and 136 tables at the sayonara banquet.  All our vegetarian members were served a wonderful 5-course spread!


Prerana concludes - "The convention and banquet were at another level.The glamour quotient was wonderful with Akane taking centre stage.The finale arrangement was breadth taking.The drum beats and the laser effect brought all of us on our feet with a thunderous applause.

The banquet dinner saw Iemoto Akane completely relaxed and in her element.The food was served with so much grace.We raised a toast for Sogetsu Ikebana completing 90 yrs on the planet.

Gave all of us an opportunity to meet Ikebana artists from around the world and interact with them.The night ended with all of us with happily tired but on a high.  The hospitality of the Japanese  will remain with us for a long long time."

The trip was completed with sakura viewing and a Japan homestay for a truly memorable fortnight.

    

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