Hanami 2012

Ikebana.  Cherry Blossoms  (2012)
C. H. Paquette

Continuing my annual tradition of making and photographing Ikebana sculptures in celebration of the brief season of flowering trees. I create in the form of Jiyuka (freestyle) Ikebana. The consistent framework is a unique scavenged piece of driftwood, a bird's nest from the previous year, and seasonal blossoms. This becomes a continual process for me. In the autumn, when I travel to Minnesota and the Great Lakes area I am searching for the perfect piece of driftwood. In the winter, when the trees are bare, I am scanning the trees for abandoned nests. This is the only time they can easily be seen while walking in the woods. And in the springtime, I am patiently waiting for the trees to flower, and deciding which blossoms to choose for my sculpture. When the brief flowering time is over, the leaves appear and the birds begin to build new nests in the hidden cover of foliage.  The cycle continues, and I begin to think of future sculptures. The following text is from some information I found on Wikipedia. The Haiku is from the Japanese master poet Shiki.

Hanami ("flower viewing") is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, "flower" in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms ("sakura") or (less often) plum blossoms ("ume"). From the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan, and around the first of February on the island of Okinawa. The blossom forecast (sakurazensen, literally cherry blossom front) is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two. A more ancient form of hanami also exists in Japan, which is enjoying the plum blossoms (ume) instead, which is narrowly referred to as umemi (plum-viewing)  Read more about Hanami here

Ikebana. Plum Blossoms (2011)
C. H. Paquette

I could not see him

That fluttering
Fly-off bird...
But the Plum-Petals...

Shiki (1866-1902)

The spiritual aspect of ikebana is considered very important to its practitioners. Silence is a must during practices of ikebana. It is a time to appreciate things in nature that people often overlook because of their busy lives. One becomes more patient and tolerant of differences, not only in nature, but also in general. Ikebana can inspire one to identify with beauty in all art forms. This is also the time when one feels closeness to nature which provides relaxation for the mind, body, and soul. Read more about Ikebana here

Ikebana. Pear Blossoms (2010)
C. H. Paquette

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