December 19, 2016
The meeting began with Sensei Malathi requesting a minute’s silence in honour of our late Chief Minister Selvi Jayalalithaa and noted that she had been a strong person and capable leader.
It has been a difficult month for Chennai, what with the CM's demise being followed by the devastation of Chennai's green cover by cyclone Vardah which caused so many of the city's old and loved trees to be uprooted.
So it was with relief to look to our Ikebana to change the mood and welcome the festive season. Some members arrived late due to heavy traffic and were welcomed by an array of colourful arrangements. They lost no time in getting down to business and completing their work.
“Tis the season to be jolly”…yes, Christmas is round the corner and what better way to end the year!
The theme of the last workshop of 2016 was Christmas as a celebration or as an art, using the festive colours of red, white and green. 14 members were present and there was a true festive air.
Sensei Dally Verghese began the session with her arrangements and later spoke briefly about her experience with Ikebana. Always preferring to work quietly in the background, she had never imagined talking in front of a gathering. She acknowledged that learning Ikebana from Mrs. Malathi had enabled her not only to learn the art form but to overcome her inhibitions and address the group.
Sensei Dally displayed three very creative pieces-- the first was a burst of colour in a brick red nagiere vase with pine, red carnations and white chrysanthemums in abundance.
|Dally's Christmas celebration|
|Hope in a branch-- from cyclone ravaged Chennai|
The second piece was a beige wooden base and vase, red and white flowers and bottlebrush leaves. The highlight was an elegant curved branch which Dally said she picked up from the IIT campus after the cyclone. It was a fitting tribute to Chennai’s spirit of survival in the face of crisis.
Sensei Malathi pointed out Dally’s innate aesthetic sense and eye for beauty and said this arrangement was beautifully coordinated in terms of the colours of materials used. The tender green leaves showed hope, she added.
|Dally's impromptu piece, inspired by a tree|
A simple flat vase showcased a trio of red anthuriums with leaves from a plant that Dally said she found in a nursery and appealed to her.
It was time for the workshop, and the members' interpretation of Christmas was innovative and exuberant.
|Sensei Prerana used the humble banana leaf to good effect|
|Pushkala made this container with coconut shells and spathe. Tender leaves and flowers |
with chrysanthemums and carnations made this perfect for any gala party
|The red bottlebrush and green and white caladium leaves|
make up a simple yet attractive piece by sensei Molly
|A Christmas "basket" by sensei Divya, with|
clever use of bent branches for the handle
|Sensei Janaki's piece says: "We are ready to hit the dance floor |
and start the party!"
|Quiet grace and simplicity herald Christmas for Bhuvana|
|A shaped fan palm forms a dramatic backdrop for Chitra's piece|
using roses, chrysanthemums and tiny guava fruits and berries
|Sensei Trishala used a palm leaf to good effect, along with aralia and gerberas|
|Shylaja used red anthurium sprayed with gold for a festive look,|
along with miniatures resembling damsels in frilled dresses
|Chelvi opted for Indian Christmas by using driftwood, dried coconut peduncles, |
tender coconut, gypsophilia and decorations for a touch of colour
Chitra Rajan too celebrates post-cyclone Chennai with a beautiful dried branch,red roses, white chrysanthemums and greens to convey the colours of Christmas
The workshop ended on a happy note, with Christmas and New Year wishes and holiday greetings, a promise of many more exciting meetings in 2017.