Connecting - An Ikebana Exhibition was held on June 1-2, 2019 at the Lunenburg Library in the historic town of Lunenburg, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Founded in 1773, the town itself is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its narrow streets and well-preserved architecture. It is also the birthplace of the famed Bluenose, a racing schooner built in 1921, which lives on in the Canadian ten-cent coin. Lunenburg has a very vibrant arts community and ikebana fit right in. The library is housed in the Lunenburg Academy, an imposing 3-storey Victorian building, built in 1893-95.
This exhibition’s theme is “connecting”. Through ikebana, we connect people, nature and cultures. It is also an expression of our wish to deepen further our bond with the South Shore. We thank the South Shore Public Libraries and the staff of the Lunenburg Library in particular for your very warm welcome and your patience as we prepared for this event.
This exhibition is also part of the on-going celebrations of the 90th anniversary of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations.
Group Arrangement by Val S, Susan R and Miyako
Three arrangements all using a red furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) as a unifying theme.
Arrangements by Lely A
Lely created 4 arrangements in the basic styles and peppered them all around the library. Her work exuded a lot of tranquility and somehow brought a feeling of kindness to the library. Many people commented how they loved seeing the ikebana tucked in the little corners of the library.
The small arrangement placed right on an old water fountain was a big hit! Nobody imagined that could be a place for a floral arrangement.
Arrangement by Val S
Val paired her arrangement with a woodblock print by artist and master printmaker, Robin Wall. The artwork, titled Light/Boat Patterns (1989), depicted boats at North Head Harbour in Grand Manan, NB. Val introduced nautical elements in her work with mesh wire, branches and grass, intricately put together into a shape that brings to mind the prow of a boat, or perhaps fishing nets being dried on the wharf.
Arrangements by Susan R
Susan, who is based in Mahone Bay, was our point person for this project and did a lot of the legwork!
Wall arrangement. Susan liked the "boxiness" of the euonymous branches. She then added a smooth willow branch for texture contrast and a bit of quince for colour contrast. One visitor exclaimed: "There's so much je-ne-sais-quoi in this work!"
An arrangement with driftwood and obi spilling down to the bottom…did you notice the blue-painted branches in the back that provided beautiful colour contrast?
…and a simple coffee table arrangement!
Arrangements by Miyako
The centrepiece for this exhibit is this large work that showed a clash of curly and smooth branches…but ultimately making a connection in the middle.
And some smaller arrangements: table top and door hanging.
Miyako’s demonstration was very well-attended. We loved the audience enthusiasm and interest! There were audible gasps when Miyako took out some weeds with big leaves from the bucket and started using them in an arrangement. Yes, weeds can be ikebana material too!
And here’s the gang that made this exhibition possible. Thank you very much Val, Susan, Lely and Martin (who worked behind-the-scenes!).