Colourful tribute to Japanese culture
By HOZANNA TAENI
SPRING may finally be here, but some of the loveliest flowers could yesterday be found inside the four walls of the Lismore Workers Club.
An amazing exhibition of ikebana celebrated the work of a number of visiting Japanese artists wanting to share a piece of their culture with the town.
Ikebana is the traditional art of Japanese flower arrangement, involving a combination of linear construction, rhythm and colour.
Contemporary flower artist, Yoko Kirikoshi, has been studying ikebana for many years, including time spent at the Sogetsu School in Japan.
She is a renowned flower artist in Japan, and now works on arranging flowers for weddings.
Ms Kirikoshi said the flowers used in ikebana were dried and the absorption of chemicals helped preserve them for a period of three to five years.
While Westerners tend to highlight the quantity and colours of flowers in their arrangements, the Japanese emphasise the linear aspects and structure.
They have developed the art to include not just the flowers themselves, but also the vase, stems, leaves and branches.
Patricia Wilson, of the Lismore Chapter of Ikebana International, said there was a noteworthy difference between ikebana and simple flower design.
"Ikebana has very strict rules in regards to making sure every arrangement is asymmetrical," Ms Wilson said. "It is an ancient craft and like all Japanese things, it includes elements of earth, water and roots to communicate the spirituality of Japan.
"It's nice that they (Australians) support our activity to show the beauty of Japan."