Japanese art blossoms at local gallery

Bloom exhibition ushers in spring with a focus on floral artwork


Reported by Chelsea Liu

Helen Duckworth says Federation Gallery has had floral displays in the past, but none like Bloom.

Duckworth, the gallery’s education coordinator, said the inspiration behind the exhibition comes from the year she spent in Japan and what she saw at Sōgetsuryū School of Ikebana.

Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement is a tradition that goes back to the seventh century. The Bloom exhibition combines live Ikebana with floral paintings.

“Ikebana is an art in its own right,” Duckworth said. She said the combination of the two exhibitions would complement each other and make the display stand out.

“I wanted to marry the two.”

Budding reviews

Those who attended say the combination is not something you see often.

Marlene Martens attended the exhibition. She is a member with the gallery and frequently goes to see the different displays. She said compared to other floral shows Bloom stands out.

“The displays with Ikebana, it’s wonderful to see,” Martens said.

Graham McGarva also attended the show. He agreed with Martens on the unique approach of Bloom.

“The displays are special, I’ve never seen that combination, usually you come in here and just see paintings,” McGarva said.

Flowers from far and wide

The art gallery has 2,800 member artists across Canada.

Pieces featured during Bloom are chosen by a jury review panel from submissions by those member artists and determine what pieces are shown.

The call for submissions started last December and a month before the exhibition, the review jury takes place. Artists then have a month to submit their work, and after the gallery collects all the pieces, the coordinator has three hours to install and arrange the art before opening day.

“I took the idea from past displays and rebranded it into Bloom,” Duckworth said.

Federation Gallery’s exhibition at Granville Island will run until April 14.

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