Acton Garden Club

Flora in Winter, January 24-27, 2008

at Worcester Art Museum and Tower Hill

The Club had two exhibits at Tower Hill showcasing this years theme, "Passport to China."

Click on Pictures to see the full-sized image
"Pond-Side in a Chinese Garden "

Joan Yatteau and Sue Whitcomb collaborated this arrangement. Their container, a Chinese Wedding-Ducks Fishbowl adorned with two pairs of mandarin ducks among lotus blossoms, attracted them because it reflects the importance of symbol and tradition in all aspects of Chinese life. The brilliantly colored mandarin ducks are a traditional symbol for a Chinese wedding since they mate for life and their red coloration signifies joy and happiness, while the lotus blossoms symbolize fertility. Their naturalistic arrangement, suggesting a small pond-side garden, is meant to represent the peace and serenity of a long and happy married life.

'Penglai Pavillion'

Laura Lindop interpreted the 'Penglai Pavillion"which was built in 1061, the 6th year of the reign of Emperor 'Yiayou' of Bei Song Dynasty and is one of the four famous Pavillions in China. Penglai houses examples of calligraphy of very famous writers. At one time the building had been attacked by renegade gangs who wanted to destroy the contents! Her arrangement was to portray that they could not destroy the life source within the heart of the building.

'Chinese Garden Interpreted in Floral Design'

Maureen Christmas'exhibit was inspired by Chinese gardens and Chinese floral design. It is a floral interpretation of pictorial art.
The wood structure has a dual purpose. It can be interpreted as a pagoda and it is symbolic of garden windows and the shadows of lattice work.
A fundamental idea in Chinese philosophy is the principle of harmony of yin and yang. Yin (female) and yang (male) elements are the negative and positive forces of the universe. The water and the rocks are one example of the balance of yin and yang. Two branches of different sizes is another.
There are many principles in executing the classic Chinese style. For example, one or at most two to three different flowers should be used. They should be placed so as to appear naturally growing. Sharp contrast is avoided with harmonious colors preferred. I have used many of the principles in the creation of this design.

At the Worcester Art Museum Thelma Shoneman interpreted a 17th Century painting and participated in the challenge class

The title of the painting is A Still Life on a Table, by the 17th century, Dutch painter, Gerrit Heda. Thelma used cecropia leaves to suggest the white cloth on the velvet table covering. Her container was covered with velvet. The calla lilies were chosen for color, shape and texture to suggest the empty carafe. Contrived flowers made from pecan and brazil nut shells were used because of the empty shells on the table. Rust pompom chrysanthemums, hypericum berries, and dark ti leaves add texture and color. The large empty glass and pewter plate add contrast and expression of the meaning of the painting, “the party is over”!

The green design was created in the demonstration challenge class. Five designers were presented with the same materials, bamboo, bells of Ireland, lotus pods, hypericum, galax, eucalyptus, twigs, ti leaves, etc. and all 5 designs were different when finished. The floral designs were inspired by the Wall at WAM: Alexander Ross. It is a huge contemporary mural, all green!


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