Sunday, March 13, 2016

Day 2 - Sensei Malathi's demo

Sensei Malathi's demonstration brought a piece of the south to Delhi.  With all the materials, heavy brass containers and kenzan being brought as personal luggage, it was as much as a feat of clarity, logistics and planning as of creation and composition!

She spoke about her experiences travelling as a young girl to the hills, and how the deep impressions that it made on her have inspired her work today.

Her first sojourn into the mountains was represented by beautiful fan palm leaves arranged one behind the other, in varying heights, to convey the mountain ranges. The black ceramic moribana container provided a lovely contrast. She was struck by the dense greenery as they climbed higher and higher

And of course the Nilgiris is famous for the Kurinji flower that flowers once in twelve years, rendering the mountains a lovely blue/purple.  She urged us to imagine the statice flowers as those rare and ethereal Kurinji flowers.  

Despite it being early afternoon when she reached the higher levels, it was already misty and it hid the view of the valley below. A delicate spray of gypsophelia was appropriately used to evoke the scenic beauty of mist covered mountains.
That was her first moribana composition - with Fan palms, statice and gyposphilia from Chennai, and the large black container from Bhuvana.

Malathi sensei then moved to her second composition - in a tarnished copper pot that was provided by sensei Prerana.

The return journey was no less interesting, Mrs. Malathi said, and in fact she welcomed it. She was glad to see familiar surroundings—the ubiquitous palm trees, brown earth and fields. This was dramatically brought to life using a traditional copper pot, intentionally unpolished to retain its rustic, earthy appeal. 

  A cluster of nungu fruits (ice apple or Borassus flabelliferaptly conveyed hot summer months and the craze for the cool, juicy fruit.

The audience was very appreciative of the use of this fruit and wanted to eat them right away! Yellow orchids gave an interesting dash of colour and a finishing touch to the arrangement.
 Malathi sensei then moved to her third and final composition in the urali.  She acknowledged and thanked her son for having helped bring this heavy container from Chennai to Delhi on one of his travels, without which she would have been hard pressed to display it!

"See the thick, strong stem of the dressina and see how it bursts forth into many slender, firm leaves. They come in all green, pink, brown shades. The second branch compliments the first in size and angle and together they make a lovely presence", said Malathi, while pointing to the thick and curving lines of the tall Dressina, which had come from her garden in Chennai.

She proceeded to add round-leaf eucalyptus, to complement the lines of the Dressina, while adding a shade go blue-green to the composition.
The composition was completed with a tall white Asia Lily.  Malathi Sensei then concluded, "I wish to display tall and short, strong and weak, thick and thin in my composition, and request you to see them co-existing harmoniously, they seem to express peace and harmony and I wish friendship, peace and harmony amidst all of us Ikebana artistes and in the whole world, on this wonderful celebratory occasion of the Sogetsu Delhi chapter."

Thus ended her short and articulate demonstration, ably assisted by sensei Prerana and enjoyed by the whole study group!

Sensei Janaki observed, "Flowers, flowers everywhere…don’t know where to look! That was the scenario at the workshop, and truly a feast for the eye. Tulips, dahlias, chrysanthemums, lilies, orchids of all hues, and rare beauties not found in Chennai. I was like a kid in a candy store, wanting to grab everything. But after a while, the eye craved for “silence”, if that makes any sense! 

Sensei Malathi’s demonstration arrangements were just the right thing to give the eyes a break from flower power. She added an element of drama and narration to her work demonstration that life's experiences can help in your creative outputs."

For Malathi sensei, it was a homecoming of sorts, having started her Ikebana journey in the seventies in Delhi.

It was then time for photos, handshakes and smiles all around.

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