Ikebana to Contemporary Art: Rosalie Gascoigne

Abstract

Although Japanese art influenced many Australian artists in 1960s, Rosalie Gascoigne (1917 - 1999) is regarded as one of a few artists for whom Japanese art was “the gateway” to her own art. Gascoigne studied ikebana from 1962 to 1972 but became frustrated with its limitations, and started making assemblage.
 
This study looks into Gascoigne’s work as a case study of cultural transformation across borders from the historical perspective of ikebana.
 
Since the Meiji Restoration ikebana has experienced various transformations under the influence of Western art. At the centre of these transformations was the development of a free style ikebana which moved away from traditional design principles, with its restrictions on site and material combinations. In advocating free style ikebana, modern and postmodern ikebana artists have had to deal with two specific issues.
 
One is the concept of an Ikebana work as a three dimensional art form, which ultimately led to the exploration by some contemporary artists of ikebana as installation.
 
The other issue is that ikebana artists now have to rely on their inner sense to organize their forms. This process is similar to the larger processes involved in creating assemblages. This direction was explored in an extreme form by Gascoigne. I propose that ikebana was more than the gateway for her work and that the order of composition in her assemblage is something she inherited from ikebana. From this perspective her work is a unique example of cross cultural transformation.



Author Information
Shoso Shimbo, Monash University, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2013
Stream: Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ACCS2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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