Saturday, 29 June 2013

Ichiyo School Demonstration by Elaine Jo

This instructive video gives a really nice introduction to ikebana thinking. It's rather long but well worth watching. Elaine Jo, from Ichiyo Ikebana of Atlanta, gives a lecture and demonstration about the art of Ikebana at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, as part of the exhibition "Jiki to Hanga: Japanese Porcelain and Prints", May 12-August 25, 2013.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Afternoon Tea Under Clouds and Moon

Probably the only tea hut in Norway, the little house under clouds and moon, «Un Getsu-an» in Japanese, has survived 20 years of shifting weather and harsh winters. Our ikebana class went on a trip to visit Svein Westad, musician and tea master, and Paula Fure, author and gallerist at gallery Åkern in Kongsberg. With fresh irises from the garden in a bamboo vase, the two tatami mat tea hut in their garden welcomed us for an intimate tea ceremony experience. These are a few snapshots from a lovely evening. Norwegian artist Mai-Bente Bonnevie is exhibiting in the old gallery building together with ikebana by Lisbeth Lerum. The evening ended with a koto concert in the Japanese country style room.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Floral Fusion: The Ikebana Sculptures of Shizuko Greenblatt

"... an ikebana practitioner can transform an interior space into a place of reflection and spiritual awakening. Los Angeles-based artist Shizuko Greenblatt trained in this art form for many years, but only recently began creating sculptural works informed by the flower arranging tradition of her native country. As with traditional ikebana, her recent "Fusion Ikebana" series has the power to reflect, transform, and uplift the spirit."

Full text (and inspiring photos) on:

See the exhibition Shizuko Greenblatt with Kathie Foley-Meyer at LA ARTCORE Union Center for the Arts in Little Tokyo until June 30, 2013.

"Growth of Civilization" (Fusion Ikebana Series) by Shizuko Greenblatt, 2011;
mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

I Find it Difficult to Respond - Performance Photos

Performance by Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman in collaboration with Lennart Persson (, titled "I find it difficult to respond when faced with an unexpected event". Thursday June 13th, at Kunstnernes hus, Oslo.

Reading by Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman, Budner's tolerance for ambiguity scale, photos from the database of NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, ikebana by Lennart Persson.

Driftwood, Lilac and Gloriosa.
Raku vase by Brigitte Schneider.

Friday, 14 June 2013

A First Time For Everything

A couple of weeks ago I invited a few people to an evening with ikebana. After an introduction to the principles of ikebana and a brief look at the history behind, it was time for a hands on session trying out the first exercise of the Sogetsu school curriculum - basic upright moribana.

Everyone did the same exercise, still the result came out very personal. I've posted the finished works so that you can compare them. I think they all did a great job with their very first ikebana.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

I Find it Difficult to Respond When Faced With an Unexpected Event

Welcome to a performance by Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman in collaboration with Lennart Persson (, titled "I find it difficult to respond when faced with an unexpected event".

Thursday June 13th, 10 pm at Kunstnernes hus, Oslo.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Meadow Flowers

Freesia, Solomon's seal, Clematis, White dead-nettle,
Warty-cabbage, Dog violet, Water avens, Lilly of the valley.

Working with many different kinds of flowers can be a quite difficult. In the Sogetsu school it is more common to concentrate on two or three materials and let them contrast each other. In summer and autumn arrangements however, you will often find five or more materials arranged in a natural and casual way - as too look like flowers growing in a field or a meadow. This style is called Maze-zashi and is very popular in Japan. In this contemporary Maze-zashi in three glass vases I have combined  mostly white and blue colours and added a touch of yellow and pink. The main structure is slanting lines to the left, contrasted with one line going in the opposite direction. These lines are the Freesia and the Solomon's seal.

There is a total of eight different kinds of flowers, which is a bit unusual as one normally avoids equal numbers. The challenge is to keep it balanced and harmonious even when there is a lot going on. Being a summer arrangement, this Maze-zashi is meant to have a cooling and relaxing effect to a warm room. The use of transparent glass vases as well as mirrors helps bringing this effect out.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Simple Blessings

Solomon's seal and Warty-cabbage.

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