Thursday, July 11, 2019

Demonstrating to the Coast Guard Wives Welfare Association

25th June 2019

The Coast Guard Wives Welfare Association organised a Sogetsu Ikebana demonstration, and Sensei Meenakshi Sarin was the one who introduced and explained the basics of the art.

Her experience with Coast Guards Women's Association was one of awe for the discipline and protocol for the Armed Forces. Sensei Meenakshi was assisted by her student Jyotsna.  The DG's wife was the chief guest for the morning.

As per protocol we could not take pictures, they had assigned a cameramen.  Here are some pictures of the event.

Sensei Meenakshi demonstrating her first piece 

The first piece was in a white fibre-glass container, nd was titled Sogetsu. She used Dressina to follow the shape and added chrysanthemum to give colour. Sensei Meenu wanted to give the look of greens and flowers growing the container.
  The second one was in a black suiban, used a curved Dressina trimmed the leaves to give a blunt look, and emphasise the line. The adenium cadix  also brought line and the  anthuriums provided for colour.   

Freestyle  Nagiere composition with dry banana leaves. one horizontal the other vertical. Gerberas of different colours added depth. The whole arrangement was placed on a mirror, (which is not evident from the photograph), and it was completed by  a tornado or aluminium wire squiggly all the way down, generating a downward movement to balance the composition. 

The colourful backdrop was a trifle distracting, but it was a big success.  The audience showed interest and curiosity in the materials used and in the principles of the art.  It was a fulfilling and satisfying experience for Sensei Meenakshi and her student Jyotsna as well.

Taking part in Chris Lim's workshop in Bangalore

11th and 12th June 2019

Ikebana International Bangalore chapter organised a demonstration of Sogetsu Ikebana by Mr. Christopher Lim from Singapore on June 11th, 2019, accompanied by a beginners and advanced workshop on the 12th of June.

Five of our members Sensei Molly, Dalley, students Chitra, Mala and Mohan attended the programme.

Chris Lim did several compositions without kenzan and cross bar support. And finally a large one. Here are the pictures taken by members.

At the end of the demonstration.
 The workshops involved smaller compositions with focus on the techniques, balance and fixtures.  Sensei Chris used local material for this.

Mala's arrangement in the workshop, with a beautiful display of lines.

Mohan's bold interpretation with the same materials.
In the advanced workshop, the focus was on creating structures that show movement.  Participants were asked to use dry branches and natural wood to create movement in the structure itself.  Sensei Chris expected minimalism and strong focus on movement.

The advance workshop, with sensei Dalley's composition showing movement in the foreground.
Chitra Rajan's advanced workshop composition - Strong bold movement with the wood as part of the composition.

Members of the Chennai Sogetsu Study Group who attended, with Sensei Chris Lim after the demonstration.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Welcome arrangement

June 5th 2019
Chithra Rajan's composition with strong powerful mass and movement
Study Group member Chitra Rajan, made an arrangement for the Governor's visit to Shri Ramachandra Mission Meditation Centre.

The Governor Mr Banwarilal Purohitstood before her Ikebana and commented that he had not seen an arrangement like this before. He also participated in narrating a grandmother's Tale

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Heisei era reminiscences

24th May 2019

The Indo Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IJCCI) organised an event to usher in the new Japanese imperial era - Reiwa - while remembering the Heisei era.

Sensei Malathi was requested to speak about her interactions with the royal couple when she met them, as also her memories of Japan in the Heisei era.  The special meeting was attended by several of the senseis of the Study Group.

Mr Kumar, President of IJCCI made the opening remarks.  Each of the speakers had some connection  and reason to be there.  While Mr Gandhi reminisced about the visit of the former Emperor to Kalakshetra and their graciousness and curiosity about everything around them, Dr Indira and Mr Ravi spoke about the long-standing Indo-Japan relations n a people-to-people and and at a governmental level as well.

From L to R - Sensei Malathi, Dr Indira, Mr Kumar, Mr Uchiyama, Mr G Gandhi and Mr N Ravi

Sensei Malathi gave a warm and extempore speech about her visits to Japan and her impressions of the former Emperor and Empress, while wishing the new era all success and peace.

It was a speech from the heart and had the audience riveted.  Please do see the video below for the full speech.

Sensei Malathi receiving a bouquet in welcome

Release of the book "Architects of Modern Japan" by Suguna Krishnamoorthy
Some of the senseis of the Study Group with Mrs Karen Uchiyama and Malathi sensei,
after the event.
It was an interesting evening, along with a film about the abdication of Emperor Akihito, and we were all struck by the simplicity of the event.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Mother's Day workshop

May 8th 2019

Sensei Molly did a wonderful Sogetsu ikebana workshop and demonstration at Phoenix Mall in Velachery on the theme ' Mother and Child' on Mother's Day. The workshop was open to mother-and-child pairs.  Six mother and child pairs took part, and were given a basic introduction to the art.

Sensei Molly was helped by her student Luna Bose and Chitra Rajan, and the sessions went off well with good participation.

Here are some pictures from the workshop.

Sensei Molly (in blue), Chitra Rajan (in green) and Luna Bose (Black jacket) with participants

April visit to Cholamandal Artist Village

April 9th 2019

With Latha Gopal
The last meeting before the summer was an excursion to the Cholamandal Artists' Village, with the aim of looking at other art forms and learning from dialogues with other artists.   Eleven members of the Study Group were present.

Located in Injambakkam, the Village is India's largest self-supporting community of artists,  who live and work in a 10 acre space.  Established in 1966, painters, sculptors and mixed medium artists all work together, and the Village is considered the centre of the Madras Movement, which brought modernism to South Indian art.

We were taken around the Gallery by artist Latha Gopal, who is also the daughter of one of the founding artists Dr K M Gopal.  Photography is not allowed in the gallery, but there were a beautiful collection of canvases, sculptures and photographs as well.

The members chatted and discussed in groups, admiring the brush strokes, colour combinations, lines and free expressions of the exhibits.

Artist Nandhan
We were then addressed by founder artist Gopinath Pottekad.  He gave us a picture of how the Cholamandal Artists' Village was formed, the artists behind it, how it used to be and how it is now.  He told us about the commemorative book, the museum and the sculpture garden.

The members then visited the home of Sculptor P S Nandhan, a trained painter who now focuses on sculpture.  The Gallery had many of his pieces and members had a dialogue regarding "Shunya", a faceless granite Buddha.  He explained to us how he prefers to start creating from the base and work his way up.  The "Buddha" is faceless, representing the void and nothingness, and by providing no feet, arms or face, he hopes the viewer will focus on the void.

With members of the Study Group

It was an absorbing and energising afternoon, and there was much discussion about what we heard as we moved on to our member Chithra Rajan's home for high tea.

We thank her for her hospitality in opening up her lovely home to us.  We enjoyed her garden with materials suitable for Ikebana!

A sumptuous tea and much laughter and camaraderie was a lovely way to end our Study Group year, as we said our goodbyes for the summer.