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A unique addition to the Contemplate Japan exhibition

Posted on January 20, 2020 at 10:00 AM by Betsy Grabinski

One final unique work of art was added to the Contemplate Japan exhibition before it opened in the Brunnier Art Museum on Wednesday, January 15th. Custom created and installed, the 12 foot by 8 foot Sogetsu ikebana arrangement titled Undulation was constructed by ISU alum Marcia Borel and four fellow Japanese floral artists.


Marlys Kerr, Margaret Odiorne and Debra Dickerson, all of whom are part of a Sogetsu study group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, worked alongside Borel to create Undulation. Sogetsu is a school of Japanese flower arranging, considered contemporary as it was developed in the early 20th century and allows the designer to use non-traditional materials such as paper, metal and plastic, as well as more traditional plant materials.


"In Sogetsu, we often use manmade materials," said Marlys Kerr of Wilmington, Delaware, who has been studying the art form for over 20 years. "The founder (Sofu Teshigahara) was a sculptor. At the time (1927), there weren't a lot of fresh materials available." His style was much less strict than the more traditional ikebana designs, she said.


Kerr, Dickerson, and Borel, as well as Sogetsu designers from Kansas City will be back in Ames in April to create Sogetsu ikebana arrangements, which will be on exhibit within Contemplate Japan  from April 16 - 21. Click here for a full list of events in the Kadō/The Way of the Flowers Program Series.


In addition to the design team, Jim Borel (Marcia's husband) and several Museums staff assisted with the construction process. Undulation will be on exhibition for the duration of Contemplate Japan and is located in the Lori A. Jacobson Gallery amongst the cast glass and ceramic Floating Worldsculptures by Karen LaMonte.


Top image: Jim Borel, Marcia Borel and Debra Dickerson assemble the bamboo base for Undulation, the Sogetsu ikebana arrangement that is part of the Contemplate Japanexhibition in the Brunnier Art Museum.


Below top left: Marlys Kerr, Marcia Borel and Debra Dickerson discuss the details of the assembly of Undulation as it was assembled in the Brunnier Art Museum last week.

Right: The finished work of art Undulation. Image by Christopher Gannon.

Below bottom left: Detail of Undulation. Image by Christopher Gannon.


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