Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Ikebana Gallery Award 2012

We are very grateful to our wonderful judges who generously gave us their valuable input. Thank you Mr Ken Smith (Art, Design & Architecture, Monash University), Ms Lesley Kehoe (Lesley Kehoe Galleries), Ms Susan Renouf (Fashion, RMIT University) and Ms Hiroe Swen (Ceramic Artist). 

Their contribution made this award, the world's first online Ikebana competition truly unique. It is so rare for Ikebana students to be assessed and to receive comments from art specialists like our judges. Please visit the “Judges” page for their profiles.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of Ikebana Galley Award 2012 is Irene Killalea from Brisbane, Australia. Irene’s teacher is Lily Karmatz in Sogetsu school of Ikebana. Irene will receive Aus $200 and a certificate from Ikebana Gallery Australia.

The final judging process was very difficult and the top three works were rated so closely. Our judges were asked to choose three works out of the five finalists in the order of their preference and the results were as follows:

Mr Smith: 1.Irene, 2. Lucy, 3. Marian
Ms Kehoe: 1. Lucy, 2. Marian, 3. Irene
Ms Renouf: 1. Irene, 2. Marian, 3. Lucy
Ms Swen: 1. Marian, 2. Irene, 3. Lucy(Camellia)

We allocated 3 points to the first choice, 2 to the second and 1 to the third. The results were 9 points for Irene, 8 points for Marian, 6 points for Lucy (Agapanthus) and 1 point for Lucy (Camellia).

Following are comments from our judges for each work.

Mr Smith: A strong sculptural form with the dramatic use of the major horizontal structure and the clever placement of the other elements of the composition.

Ms Kehoe: I would choose Irene for innovative approach. I feel it is somewhat over thought but appreciate the attempt to innovate.

Ms Renouf: I love the simplicity, and beautiful line.

Ms Swen: Simple. I can see her confidence in the forms that she created by removing all unnecessary leaves and branches.


Mr Smith: A classical composition emphasising verticality with subtle and sensitive combinations of materials.

Ms Kehoe: Expresses a wonderful feeling of soaring and expansiveness with very little material; also complements the vessel well.

Ms Renouf: I like the focal point of red, and the vertical interest. It looks as though it would have been difficult to achieve.

Ms Swen: Expresses firm beauty that is based on her training of the traditional Ikebana basics. 


Mr Smith: Very good combination of plant forms and their supporting container in both colour choice (yellow/blue) and the whimsical play of constructed positive and negative spaces.

Ms Kehoe: Balance, colour and complements the vessel well.

Ms Renouf: This is elegant and well balanced. A delightful use of Agapanthus.


Ms Swen: Gentle, bright and fresh flower has calming effect on me.

Congratulations to the winner, Irene and to the other finalists. Thank you to all the Ikebana students who have shared their works on this blog. We are looking forward to receiving more images of your works for the Ikebana Gallery Award 2013. 

We also welcome submissions from Ikebana students who have not sent their works yet. Simply by submitting your works you are supporting this project. If you want to support us even more, visit the “Sponsors” page in this blog. 

Shoso Shimbo, PhD
Ikebana Gallery Australia