An exhibition by the Bermuda Branch of Sogetsu Ikebana in Bermuda is being staged to complement the photography exhibition currently in place at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art.

Sogetsu, a form of Japanese flower arranging, was introduced in Bermuda in the early 1970s when a British arranger, Stella Coe, was invited by the Garden Club of Bermuda to demonstrate and give workshops. Kitten Ellison and Lorna Mercer then went to England to study under Coe and returned in 1975 as qualified teachers.

The basic style consists of three branches or flowers, each of different lengths. The tallest is called Shin (heaven), the middle length is named Soe (man) and the shortest is named Hikae (earth). When positioned the three branches form a triangle, with each branch placed at a particular angle with the aim of creating a pleasing design. There are eight variations of the basic arrangements as well as a newer expression referred to as freestyle and also abstract. Today there are seven certified teachers in Bermuda, all taught by Kitten Ellison. Only four are actively teaching.

Marilyn Simmons, of Bermuda’s Sogetsu Ikebaba, said: “Sogetsu is a modern school that encourages freedom of expression. Plants are from nature, but a basic principle of Sogetsu is that Ikebana reflects the person who arranged it. One will see the individuality of expression as one views the exhibition.” 

The floral works aim to bring the current Drawing With Light Photography in Bermuda exhibition at the gallery to life. That show is a photographic history of Bermuda since the advent of cameras.

The opening reception is on May 14 from 5:30pm to 7pm and the show runs until May 18. The gallery is open from 10am to 4pm.