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Free Ikebana Exhibition at Gasworks Arts Park

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published August 11th 2014
Stunning display of this traditional art form

Ikebana is the term used to describe Japanese floral arrangements.

There is a free exhibition of this stunning art form at Gasworks Park from the 12th to the 17th of August.

I attended last year after being captivated by a review I read on WeekendNotes

Walking around I was completely smitten by the artistry involved. The wonderful use of colours, the simplicity, the use of space to make each an artwork in their own right.

I was so captivated a month later I went off to a class. The exhibition is free and if you want to find out about classes you can put your name down on an email list.

It was much harder than I thought as before you can be truly creative there are techniques you have to master. It was all about balance and placement and terms for the positioning are quite rightly in Japanese.

I guess I didn't give it my best shot but I did watch in wonder as the other women created their displays. Once you do master the basics your can allow your design and floristry skills and your imagination free reign.

They used a lot of found objects and flowers from their gardens. And op shop vases didn't go astray.

Ikebana is in essence Japanese design, an aesthetic that has evolved over centuries and is at the heart of all Japanese art forms including painting, ceramics, textiles and garden design.

It began with the spread of Buddhism from China in the 6th century and came from the custom of offering floral tributes in the temples.

So the display is culturally enlightening as well. This would be a great exhibition for any students of Japanese as it is beneficial to be enriched by the culture as well as the language.

Apparently the actual art form "is a journey in training the eye to see and understand the Japanese aesthetic."

Through training you can create arrangements that reflect both the simplicity and complexity of nature and then begin combining this with your own creativity.

So while it might appear simple, even doable, as mentioned, it is a lot more involved that it looks.

From my own experience I can guarantee if you attend this display that you will equally blown away by the beauty of the arrangements.

The display is brought to you by members of Ikebana International a world-wide volunteer organisation that fosters the practice and enjoyment of Ikebana. No longer exclusive to Japan it has spread through the world and brings "friendship through flowers".

There is an opening night on the 12th of August from 6 to 8 pm.

Over the weekend the various schools will put on free Ikebana demonstrations The 30 minutes sessions are on Saturday 16th August at 11 am & 12 pm, and Sunday 17th August at 11 am, 12 pm & 1 pm.

There will be a Children's Workshop on Saturday 16th August at 10 am. Children will be able to take their arrangements home.
Bookings essential: or 9555 0948
Cost: $10 per child to cover materials.

For more information, please see the Ikebana International website below. `
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Why? To see the beauty of this Japanese artform
When: 12th to the 17th of August 9am–4pm
Phone: or 9555 0948
Where: Gasworks Arts Park 21 Graham Street, Albert Park - Gallery & Angela Robarts-Gasworks Park, Bird Gallery - Wheelchair Accessible
Cost: Free
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