Surpirse! - An Ikebana Exhibition was held last May 10-12, 2019 at the Keshen Goodman Library in Halifax. We chose the theme “surprise” with the bold mission to surprise people with what they can do with oft taken for granted plants that are easily found in backyards and roadsides! So in this exhibit, you’d have seen familiar things, —pine and spruce branches, magnolia, quince, bridal wreath and lots of tree bark—alongside blooms from the florist! Thank you to all who visited us! We hope you enjoyed the arrangements as much as we did creating them!
We are very grateful to the Keshen Goodman Library who let us use their beautiful space. The staff were all very welcoming and helpful! Special mention to Dacia M. for her patience with us. Preparations and take-down could not have gone any smoother!
This exhibition is part of the on-going celebrations of the 90th anniversary of Canada-Japan diplomatic relations. It also coincided with the Asian Heritage Month festivities in Halifax.
To the people who made this possible: Val S, Susan R, Nina D, Media C, Jean H, Robert L, Brenda D, Heather N, M. S., Linda K and Cody O. A very BIG thank-you! Your hard-work and dedication to ikebana are very much appreciated. We hope to do another exhibition next year!
Arrangement by Jean H
We are welcomed to the exhibit by this floor position arrangement by Jean H. Hydrangea, magnolia and delphinium.
Arrangement by Val S
How Val deftly peeled away the bark from a fallen birch tree is beyond us! Pink lines and pink blooms accent the white bark perfectly.
Arrangement by Susan R
A lovely vase (origin unknown but acquired at the local Xmas market in Mahone Bay!) paired with driftwood from Nova Scotia’s shores. Something very wabi-sabi about this!
Arrangements by Nina D
Nina uses spirea branches called bridal wreath. The shrub with droopy branches grow all over Nova Scotia and blooms with little white flowers…but for these arrangements, Nina uses them not for the flowers but to show lines.
Arrangements by Media C
Exotic-looking vases! Gentle curves of delicate grass contrasted with a chunk of rough, fallen wood!
Arrangement by Robert L
Robert says he never heard of Bells of Ireland till he started ikebana lessons…and now he just absolutely loves them!
Arrangement by Brenda D
Brenda tells us that weeks before the exhibit, she already mentally placed “reserved” tags on select branches of the spruce tree in her backyard. ..and behold, a nageire with very strong lines. The addition of a piece of bark at the bottom anchors the forceful upward surge of those branches.
Arrangement by Heather N
Quince branches and lilies. This arrangement was evolving as the lilies started to bloom during the 3-day exhibit!
Arrangement by M.S.
May is the month when irises bloom in Japan as well so this arrangement connects us to the seasons in Japan as well! Irises normally grow straight up but M.S. bends these irises to her will!
Arrangement by Linda K
This arrangement is meant to be seen all around.
Arrangement by Cody O
In ikebana, the clearness of the water is an important element. Cody O gives us more to appreciate by adding some blooms in the water!
Arrangements by Miyako
A convolution of corkscrew willow branches, crisscrossing in brightly painted red and natural colours. (Thank you, Nina D, for bringing these branches, freshly pruned, from the Annapolis Valley!)
There s a pine tree in our backyard that fell after a strong storm some years ago. Recently, its old bark started coming off…and this is showcased in this arrangement. Miyako inserted some pine needles to remind us that the bark was from a pine tree. With the aged bark, Miyako added some young, budding magnolia branches! The vase is by local pottery artist, Sally Ravindra (Purcell’s Cove).
These uncannily curving branches were found on the roadside. Arranged on a tall vertical vase with a few tufts of moss added to give some sense of motion…like a pinwheel!
Last but certainly not least…thank you, Kent Martin, for visiting the exhibition and allowing us to use your photos. Kent Martin is a professional photographer/film producer who is currently working on The Halifax Project—a documentary of our beloved city, Halifax NS!