Workshop || Q&A with Sue Poole
Ahead of her Ikebana workshop, Sue Poole from the Brisbane Sogetsu School of Ikebana takes us through her passion about the ancient craft.
When: Saturday September 15th, 10pm - 3pm.
Book your tickets here!
How did you become interested in Ikebana?
I first saw ikebana as a teenager when one of the Brisbane teachers of the art did the arrangements at my local church. I fell in love with the simplicity of it but did not have the opportunity to learn the art until about seven years ago. I had no idea when I started that the learning of the art is a journey as you study and learn the Japanese way. Ikebana, like painting, contains unlimited possibilities for creative expression. Luckily, in Brisbane, we have some very talented Ikebana teachers and I have been to Japan also to study there.
What aspects of Ikebana do you enjoy the most?
When you study ikebana you see nature differently. I find myself getting enthused by the changing nature of the seasons. As I drive or walk around I am constantly observing what is happening, looking for ideas of how to use material. I love communing with nature in this way and using flowers, leaves and branches to create three dimensional arrangements which show the beauty of the materials in a different light. The container is also part of the arrangement. Seeking out containers which will enhance my work is another aspect that I enjoy. The Japanese way is to work quietly with the materials to see what is the best use for each piece. It is a great discipline.
Can you use any materials when creating your arrangement, or do you have to stick to traditional elements?
When studying at first there are many pattern exercises that you must achieve at a high level. Sogetsu Ikebana is a modern form which allows more free design while still keeping in mind all the principles studied. As well as plant materials we can use unconventional materials such as wood, plastic, glass, paper, metal, wire. We can also use dried and coloured materials.
Containers can be made out of any materials also. Many Japanese containers are made of pottery or ceramics. We also use glass containers including clear glass as this shows materials in a different light.
What do you personally get out of practicing Ikebana?
For me, it is the thinking process that goes into creating something beautiful out of any material and the degree to which I can alter the material that is important. It is also the surprise that I get when I realise that what I have done gives pleasure to others. Every plant is endowed with a unique shape. To this perfection, with ikebana, we can add artistry to create a three dimensional art form. The main element of ikebana is not the flower but the spirit of bringing them to life. This art form has been practiced in Japan since the 13th century. Ikebana brings humans and nature together and is an example of the perfect harmony between people and nature.
To learn more about Sue Poole and the Brisbane Sogetsu School of Ikebana, check out their website.