Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Friendship decorated with flowers

Published:Friday | June 9, 2017 | 12:08 AMMikala Johnson
Keiko Nakano puts together her piece for display at the exhibition.
A piece by Olive Donalds at the event.
Floral arrangements on display at the event.
Thelma Chin, 93, makes some final adjustments to her design which she has on show at the Ikebana International Exhibition at the Horticultural Society Showroom, Hope Pastures, St Andrew.
A display by Helen Chen at the Ikebana International Exhibition held at Hope Pastures recently.

The Jamaica Horticultural Society Showground in Hope Pastures, St Andrew came alive last Saturday as it blossomed with the display of a variety of flowers at the opening ceremony of the St Andrew Chapter (156) of the Ikebana International Exhibition.

This year's show lived up to the organisation's motto 'Friendship through flowers'. The event presented a fusion of floral creativity, colour and fragrance that showcased the island's richness in flora and fauna.

Flower enthusiasts turned out in their numbers to view the artistry of the different 'floral schools' on display. This year's show had exhibitions from five schools - three local schools (Sogetsu, Ohara and Ichiyo) and two guest schools (Ikenobo and Ryuseisha).

Members of the different schools were excited to show their creations. For 93-year-old Thelma Chin of the Ikenobo School, she started practicing Ikebana more than 50 years ago while living in Canada. She said she enjoys the practice so much that she continues to teach the art.

"It is something that I do enjoy," said Gloria Alvaranga. Alvaranga was introduced to Ikebana just over 15 years ago by a friend who invited her to attend a class at the Ohara School.

Ikebana is the Japanese art of floral arrangement. It is based on harmony and the appreciation of subtle beauty of flowers and natural materials such as bamboo, branches and stems.




President of the St. Andrew chapter, Myrtle Halsall said that practicing Ikebana is very calming and requires a lot of patience to execute.

The event also saw Japanese ambassador to Jamaica Masanori Nakano presenting a certificate of commendation to the St Andrew chapter, which was accepted by Halsall.

Nakano said the event has strengthened cultural exchanges between Jamaica and Japan. "Ikebana conventions are held in Japan where international chapters are invited to participate and Jamaica has been a part of them over the years." he said.

Halsall noted that the countries work closely and on several occasions the St Andrew chapter has been selected to do the floral decoration for the Japanese embassy when it is hosting an event.

"This year's show was organised by the St. Andrew Chapter and part of the proceeds from the sale of tickets usually goes towards a children's charity." Halsall said.

The St Andrew chapter is celebrating 45 years as a member of Ikebana International.