Saturday, April 3, 2010

Every April Ikebana International Washington DC Chapter # 1 puts on a 3 week show of arrangements at the USNA Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Though I make it a point to visit the exhibition at least once a year, I've never attended the opening ceremony because, well....,it's April and there's never time enough to do half of the things that absolutely need to be done in the garden. This year is worse than most what with the destruction wrought by our back-to-back blizzards and this sudden onset of early summer temperatures. So I figured, what the heck, it's like waiting until you have enough money to have children....if we did that there'd be a lot fewer people. If I waited till the garden was caught up in April.... So I did go and heard a few delightfully short, witty, and engaging remarks {aside: I know this sounds ridiculous, but, against all odds, I actually enjoyed listening to this presentation and didn't notice myself tapping my foot at all} from various dignitaries including our interim director Dr. Ramon Jordan and Minister HideoFukushima from the Japanese Embassy.

I'm not a student of Ikebana, but I have always enjoyed the arrangements. I see them at least once a year here and at the Philadelphia Flower Show and generally come away with my aesthetic sensibilities reawakened and revivified, upon going out into my regular world I see things differently for a while. An experience akin to going to an art exhibition. There are different "schools" each with slightly different rules and styles but I'm probably overstepping my knowledge base here! Anyway I believe I heard there are 8 schools represented in this exhibition. I tend to like the more minimalistic arrangements, though there weren't any that I didn't like. 

There were a couple, like this one that I almost felt I had to move to appreciate; it was different but beautiful as I passed from left to right. Of course I design gardens and while certain viewpoints are always important and addressed, it would be nice to think that a design could work, no matter what spot it was viewed from. I have yet to achieve that "holographic perfection" but it gives me something to shoot for!
There were a couple very large arrangements that stimulated quite a bit of discussion. The exhibition continues for another 3 weeks or so, with arrangements changed, I think, weekly. Even in the midst of a Washington spring, which is a wonderful thing, it's worth a trip.

No comments: