This ikebana arrangement maintains perfect rhythm with three natural elements – water, earth and the sky, says Hema Vijay.
In tune with nature: Ikebana arrangement can still nurture natural beauty and provide pleasure.
The fact that Sogetsu ikebana gives you freedom to use any kind of material gives a shot-in-the-arm for the creative process. This has made Padma Swaminathan to come up with an ikebana arrangement that comments on contemporary environmental concerns.
Conceptually, this arrangement highlights the need to protect the environment by maintaining the right balance between three of the five panchabhuthas - water, earth and the sky. “I wanted to show the benefits of keeping our water bodies free of pollution, which would foster a favourable and symbiotic relationship between marine and plant life”, says Padma.
Trimmed and cut
Padma opted for a rectangular black ceramic vase from Korea. She placed oyster and coral shells (both from the Philippines) in the right corner of the vase (as accent pieces), and filled the vase with water to submerge three-fourth of the shell height. And inserted Japanese umbrella plants, and pink and white chrysanthemums in the hole of the coral shells to hold them in place, which also goes on to create a ‘tropical island’ setting.
The Japanese umbrella stems have been trimmed and cut to different lengths to depict heaven, earth and man in accordance with the basic Ikebana principle. The mini-chrysanthemums were cut to different lengths as per the Ikebana principle that no two materials should be of the same length.
“I chose mini pink and white chrysanthemums partly to blend with and partly to accent the colour of the coral and oyster shells”, Padma says.
The oyster and coral shells are to signify marine life while the umbrella plants and flowers symbolise plant life on earth. She sums up “Our environment has been damaged, but benign environmental management can still nurture natural beauty and provide pleasure and satisfaction to humanity.”