My work is heavily influenced by the immersive cultural experience that I have received from living in Japan. I have branched out to the art form of ikebana to further expand my artistic sensibilities. Studying at the Sogetsu Foundation in Tokyo, I have discovered a truly meditative mindset that is a catalyst for spontaneous creativity. I am enamored by the technical prowess required to create from the organic and the intrinsic connection that I can have with the natural materials. These attributes have paved the way for my current body of work.

Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement in which nature and humanity are brought together in harmony; both the artist and nature work in a partnership to generate a beautiful moment sparked by the arranger’s innate sensibility towards natural materials. There is a meditative mindset as the artist transfers the creative energy to ikebana; one becomes quiet. This time allows the artist to live in the moment and to have an appreciation for nature; a simple and sublime moment. The founder of Sogetsu, Sofu Teshigahara states that “flowers become human in ikebana.” He believed that the artist would become closer to their work if they connected nature to humanity. I initially became interested in ikebana after attending a performance in Tokyo by Shuho, the Master of Ikebana at the Ginkaku Jisho-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion) in Kyoto. Shuho encourages people to consider plants like human beings, living entities with their own individuality and to appreciate their fundamental nature.

Using the philosophy of ikebana, I have conditioned myself to seek a meditative mindset in an effort to transfer the creative energy to both 2D and 3D works. The drawings represent past ikebana creations that are captured in time and haven’t allowed to wither. Through pen and ink drawings, the imagery reveals detailed segments of ikebana forms that highlight its unique essence. The botanical sculptures are created with dried plant materials and inverted cast concrete. This combination of materials suggests many things such as: the interaction of opposites, the naturally occurring and the anthropogenic, and the fragile balance between what exists and what we create. The dialog between these materials extracts a unique relationship that sheds light on how contrast can bring balance, order, and harmony. And thus, this state of harmony connects with the influential character that humans have in nature.

BIO: Heidi Almosara received her B.F.A. from Texas Christian University and an M.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Dallas in Texas. Heidi also completed the MI-LAB Artist-in-Residence Mokuhanga Program in Fujikawaguchiko, Japan. She has had exhibitions in the continental US, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as, but not limited to, Russia, Peru, Japan, New Zealand, Finland, Taiwan, and Guatemala.