What a treat. Ikebana in the Landscape,
with Lily Karmatz.
Lily is an artist whom I have respected and admired for years, her work is mainly ephemeral so does not constantly grace the walls of exhibition venues, but in it's short life it speaks volumes with its originality and ability to delight the viewer. http://www.artislily.com/
We gathered Friday night on the Rusty Roo veranda to watch the spectacular sunset over the Wivenhoe Dam. Sharing wine, food, stories, adventures, misfortunes, regrets and hopes, we started to glimpse the group gathered and comprehend the new experience to be shared.
Saturday morning in the bright light of day, everyone was encouraged to participate in the two hours meandering bush walk, through the Rusty Roo landscape. All were encouraged to SEE what nature has to offer. The materials FOUND were looked at for their mechanical possibilities in future installations, but Lily also stressed that of equal value was their part in helping ourselves to look at nature, and seeing ourselves as part of it.
Lily does not attempt to teach Zen philosophy, but tries to help us realize that the creative spirit is all around us in nature. If we give it time and observe what it has to offer it has a peace and tranquility that we can take into ourselves.
Zen explains that the act of creation comes from within. In art, the brushes, paints and canvas, and even vases, flowers themselves constitute the tools and materials with which the artist works. However, the creative spirit comes from the inner self and, through flashes of inspiration, the artist, creates existence from non-existence, and
finds satisfaction in the creative process.
Zen defies rationality, or any attempt to make sense of it, instead it occurs when you let go of your every day reality, letting it pass you by and feeling the gentle breeze that it creates as it passes.
We were encouraged to use the found objects in the environment, and enhance them with the colour of the flowers supplied. We were also encouraged to make space for our works so that they had room to breathe.
Zen masters were some of the strongest earliest advocates of recycling and reusing available materials. They have a great respect for nature. They recognize that we are reliant on nature for food, sustenance and natural resources, but also realize their responsibility as its care takers.
We were encouraged to appreciate each arrangement as a frozen moment in its life, a symbol of natural but fleeting perfection. The budding, the blooming and the wilting should all be appreciated.
Lily demonstrated the basic elements of the ancient art of Ikebana that has influenced her creativity for years. The heaven, earth and man were sought and explored. Then we took ‘ a leg walk’ to view the installations that she had constructed, prior to everyone’s arrival. We were then guided to find a quiet spot to make ourselves peaceful, to conceive fresh ideas as they come to the surface.
Saturday evening with the magnificent sunset, we once again shared thoughts, food and wine while watching the light, reflections, patterns, designs and layers created from our arrangements and the Suns last rays. We had a delightful meal and a vibrant bon fire, which some of our local friends gate crashed !!. The sound of singing, guitar playing and laughter were relished, well into the night. This definitely was not Ikebana, but a delightful arrangement of another kind !
By involving ourselves in the activity of arranging and changing the image and tone of the arrangement/installation/construction, we were encouraged to do it with respect, care and love, to foster an atmosphere of serenity and peace. The more we observed, the more would be discovered and the meaning emerges.
Some people found this an easier concept to achieve than others, for it is no easy task for those with ‘little time’, to use some of this precious commodity to do NOTHING, but most managed to use some to allow nature to find them.
Sunday arrived all too quickly. ‘Go forth, discover, BE & create’, was the herald of the day.
Outside, it was hot, really hot, but we walked, talked, looked at art, ate, drank, laughed, looked again . . . . . . and something happened.
What people are capable of inventing over two days always stymies my preconceived notion of ‘what is possible’
Sunday afternoon, 10 intrepid travelers set forth on our last journey for this workshop, spanning the hills, cooled by itinerant breezes, we glimpsed each others ideas.
The results were an exciting and memorable collection of floating, waving and woven forms in diverse materials. Found materials, including the obscure such as abandoned fencing wire, discarded railway sleepers, rusting railway pegs, ceramic power conductors, as well as a considerable number of natural fibers, such as Grass tree sticks, bark fibers, prickly jungle vines, lichen embossed rocks and a multitude of colorful leaves were sourced and used.
Each installation contained more surprises as you observed the minute variations in color and texture.
Although many thoughts come to me by working a painting or print, my art is ultimately rooted in sharing. I re-engage my ideas by constructing a social space. I see the shared meals, shared demonstrations and the people that fill the “Rusty Roo,” as large collages.
The outside rambling walks, which include selecting destinations and routes to investigate and explore, are also like collages. Venturing to a new previously unexplored pocket, reminds me of my childlike sense of wonder, in the new discovery, the re-discovered, the recycled, which becomes the reinvented.
Once again, I thank everyone involved for their input/output and ability to share generously. What a treat.
I look forward to recieving some more images to post over the next few weeks.( My battery died before Sundays walk . . .so no last pics !)
Next workshops http://www.rustyroo.com/
Watercolour with Mia Clark September 25 - 27 FULL
Mixed media with Jennifer Hamilton & Sharon Lee
16 - 18 October
Botanical observational drawing FULL