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Digital Ikebana - Oval House Gallery

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Digital Ikebana, an exhibition of digital photographs inspired by the Japanese art of flower arrangement (ikebana) by Italian photographer Ligeia Lugli, runs from October 30 to November 24, 2007 in the Oval House Gallery.

Ikebana masters remove flowers, branches and leaves from their natural settings and re-arrange them in vases, in order to obtain perfectly equilibrated bouquets which enhance the natural beauty of the flowers. Thus, natural details which would be hardly noticed in the wilderness are to be fully appreciated in their new, artificial context. Here they become part of a studied composition which reflects the human idea of beauty and is therefore dense with emotive suggestions.

The same happens with the Digital Ikebana series, which is the result of a careful study of the de-contextualizing power intrinsic in photography. Such power is exercised every time a photographer looks at an object through the camera. In fact, once seen through the lens an object is enucleated from the rest, and re-organized within the camera’s frame.

Unlike in real ikebana, all the compositions included in the photographic series have been captured as they were in nature, without being artificially arranged for the shooting. The only human intervention in these compositions is the action of framing the image and taking the photograph. In that simple action the subjective search for ideal beauty and the objective appearance of nature merge, creating a picture which represents the meeting point between human sensitivity and the natural world.

Admission: Free.

Times: 3pm to 10pm.

A Fine Balance by Sabi North, an exhibition inspired by Rohinton Mistry’s prize winning novel of the same name, is currently on display in the gallery.

A Fine Balance is an Indian tale of survival, about four unlikely characters whose lives come together in the most unforeseen circumstances. And North has tried to capture the excitement, the noise and the colour of the story through use of all the elements she loves in painting – abstract shapes, all over surface decoration, pattern, architectural and calligraphic line, and lots of colour .