AVALON DREAMS

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AVALON DREAMS

Post  Jeremy on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:47 am

Hi,
Chris Thomas recreated his display "AVALON DREAMS" at the dragon bonsai workshop on Sunday.
I post this on his behalf.

Chris says,
Shortly after the crucifixion of Christ Joseph of Aramathea is said to have travelled from the Holy Land to the south west of England. With him he is said to have carried the Holy Grail. On arriving at Glastonbury Tore the staff he had used throughout his journey he thrust into the hill, this grew into the thorn that is their today.
Later in the Grail romances many places are said to have been the Isle of Avalon, the final resting-place of Arthur. Glastonbury is one of the most famous places to be thought of as Avalon

At the recent ABBA, (Association of British Bonsai Artists) symposium on propagation I was determined to create an alcove display that would relate to the theme of the day. These meetings are held in the West Country and I was always aware of the closeness of Glastonbury and its legends to the venue and with propagation being the subject for the day then what more famous striking of a tree than that of the Glastonbury thorn!!!




Your thoughts on Chris's display are very welcome.

My initial thought, "perhaps my very straight blackthorn might be a good candidate for the staff"? Twisted Evil "


Jeremy
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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  matsu on Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:26 am

i,m not too sure about glastonbury being avalon......
but i like the whole theme and the displays very much.
please pass on my admiratrion for his concept and the execution!
and i just love blackthorn in flower!

my only comment tree wise is i would poss remove the tall jin and get the movement at the top of the tree develop as the apex , perhaps in a more weeping style!

but great post!
matsu

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Morea on Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:39 pm

Dear Jerry and Chris

My first thought :: Yours are FLOWERING !! mine is NOT !!! bounce

The Avalon dreams .....
Last Year on my holiday in Cornwall , Brian (Bear)
told me a special place to visit .
As it was a dry morning , we went , walked through a forest
to end at a waterfall.
For us this place is Avalon , during our walk and eversince after.

For me Avalon is related with water and a lady.
The display is masculin , a wonderful sence of mystic and
makes me fly into fantasy-world.
I only miss the water. Embarassed

First i would like to show some pictures of my avalon :


My 2 young knights ahead :
[img][/img]


[img][/img]

And actually , think my thorn could do also well for a traveling companion !!
Here how he is at this moment Very Happy
Kind regards
Morea
[img][/img]

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:29 pm

I really like the display and find it very refreshing to see a non-Asian theme used. Keep up the good work.

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Carolee on Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:29 am

I very much like the dragon display. It flows together, and although I am no expert at displaying bonsai, it seems to combine the 'rules' although as Rob stated without an Asian theme. But when it comes to Avolon I agree very much with Morea about what constitutes Avalon.

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Stone Monkey on Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:09 am

Jerry & Chris

Absoutely love the composition!!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
I also agree with Rob and refreshing change.

Regards to you both

Andy

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:32 am

I love the cascade sloe composition too. Well done Chris.

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Tony on Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:09 am

Nice work Chris and thanks for Posting Jerry.

I am totally in favour (favor:USA) of displays that reflect the counties/regions character, heritage or culture. This is a great display.

But... not wishing to be Billy big balls but I believe the Glastonbury thorn (pronounced dead in June 1991) was in fact a Hawthorn... but then again you knew that Embarassed

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  AlainK on Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:28 pm

The tree is magnificent, congratulations ! Very Happy

Er... I don't like the composition at all. Looks very kitsch to me, sorry Embarassed

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Avalon Dreams

Post  chris on Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:52 pm

Thank you all for your kind words. Avalon Dreams Is an Image, an idea that I will develop and refine over time, its something I feel I need to run with for a while. The Blackthorn has been accepted for the Best of British and I will attempt to construct the same theme for the show. Myself and Jerry have for a long time now been awhere of the need we have to show our trees and stones in a way to reflect the feelings we have for place and time. For me the tree is not the be all and end all, the tree for me leads me into an image that can reflect it character and atmosphear. its the fantastic aged bark on this tree that does it for me. We can use display in many different ways the hardest thing is finding the elements to turn the image in your mind into a physical end product. Thanks for your time, see you all at The Best of British.
Regards Chris

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Carolee on Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:04 pm

For me the tree is not the be all and end all, the tree for me leads me into an image that can reflect it character and atmosphear. its the fantastic aged bark on this tree that does it for me.

Chris, I believe this is an interesting and worthwhile path for you to pursue. I like the idea of a tree leading a person somewhere. Please keep sharing your path with us.

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Alan Walker on Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:16 am

AlainK wrote:The tree is magnificent, congratulations ! Very Happy

Er... I don't like the composition at all. Looks very kitsch to me, sorry Embarassed
Oh, the power of a label! What a Face Yes, this does qualify as kitsch, but as kitsch goes, it is top rank. That may sound like an oxymoron, but everything has degrees of quality.
This is creative, non-traditional display. cheers

Alan Walker
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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Bear on Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:04 am

Love it Brian

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Walter Pall on Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:43 am

For my taste it is great. Yes, it is pathetic and wants to impress which is a definition of kitsch. But it does it in a tasteful way. Which means it is not kitsch. Or is it? Well it certainly is a very thoughtful and successful effort to break away from the old-fashioned way of exhibiting bonsai. I love it.

BTW: the majority of bonsai are kitsch by all definitions.

Walter Pall
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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Yvoune on Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:58 pm

...well said , Walter! Smile

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IT needs something...

Post  Joe Hatfield on Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:25 pm

It needs.... Fire!!!! YEP! and lots of it! Giant pillars of spinning fire. I would like to actually see see a better seated pot and a smaller sword. I feel its the whole comp. is boxy, but super cool. Thank the pagan gods there is something other then traditional display techniques being practiced. THanks for sharing. Please update us as to where your winding path takes you with this. But, like I said PILLARS OF FLAMES!

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  AlainK on Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:12 pm

Walter Pall wrote:
...the majority of bonsai are kitsch by all definitions.

Some are more kitsch than others.

Nick Lenz is probably the most iconoclastic of today's bonsai artist : his "Penelope" or "Larix laricina with tank" are indeed food for thought, whether one likes these or not. (see his gallery at the AOB website). I really like "Penelope", there's a strange impression coming from this design, a lot of poetry. Not so enthusiastic about the tank in the forest... As you have guessed, I prefer women to weapons Wink

But to come back to the display featured in this post, I think that the different elements are not in good proportion with the tree, they take over the viewer's attention as if the focal point was on the sword rather than on the tree. I love this tree and I think that the other elements distract us from what I think should be the main element.

But of course, this is just my opinion. Since I think I'll need help on this one, I'll quote Swami Vivekananda before you prepare the tar and feathers: “Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.” study

An excellent composition (to my taste) in the same kind of spirit is Christopher guise's "Hobbiton bonsai trayscape", here, all the elements complete each other :


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AVALON DREAMS

Post  chris on Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:06 am

Again thankyou all for your comments,
Thanks to Joe for the idea of Pillars of fire but I think health and safety might just restrict some things on a public stage. I have in the past used mist making m/c and I have plans to use it within this image, the air has to be dead still to use it and the mist seldom forms where its needed.
AlainK, Thank you for your comments on proportion and yes I agree that the sword is possibly to big for the image, but as I said earlier I can only work with what I have and there is no need to stay within the reelms and restrictions of scale. Most important to me as this thread has unfolded is the fact that we can break from tradition and do what we feel and best of all enjoy Bonsai.
Regards Chris

chris
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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Inyoshin on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:16 pm

I appreciate the artistic endevour that is "Avalon Dreams". However, it is not and bears no relationship to the art of Bonsai. It's only lip service to the art is that it contains a decent tree.

If you want to learn and be judged by the best one has to go to Japan. In Japan one would never see anything like this work on display.

Bonsai is a Japanese art and it is frustrating when people try to change it in to something else. It is all to often an excuse for people who find the discipline and patience needed to create and present real Bonsai works too difficult. The answer, make up our own rules.

Lets have the confidence to prove to the Japanese that we can be as good or better than they are at the art of Bonsai, not make it up as we go along. Already some of the worlds greatest Bonsai artists reside in Europe we even have some of our own right here in the UK. We have better material trees to work with, Japanese would die for some of the Yamadori we have. So come on lets stick with Bonsai we can be better than them.

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri May 01, 2009 12:37 am

Inyoshin wrote:I appreciate the artistic endevour that is "Avalon Dreams". However, it is not and bears no relationship to the art of Bonsai. It's only lip service to the art is that it contains a decent tree.

If you want to learn and be judged by the best one has to go to Japan. In Japan one would never see anything like this work on display.

Bonsai is a Japanese art and it is frustrating when people try to change it in to something else. It is all to often an excuse for people who find the discipline and patience needed to create and present real Bonsai works too difficult. The answer, make up our own rules.

Inyoshi

Judging by your Japanese user name, let me start by saying I am not trying to be rude to Japanese, but like it or not, "bonsai" is now an English word with a Japanese origin. (Like rendezvous was a French word now in the English lexicon.) The art of bonsai knows no borders and belongs to no single country. In fact, bonsai probably didn't even originate in Japan. Korean bonsai, Chinese bonsai, Taiwanese bonsai, Philippine bonsai, American bonsai, European bonsai etc. have specimens equal to or better than trees found in Japan.

Japanese forms of display are intricately linked to Japanese culture. It doesn't make sense for an non-Japanese to be forced to follow these forms if their own culture or ideas have a different and just as valid ways of displaying art. Solely following Japan is a very limiting view. This forum should prove that. Come join the global society.

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A starting point

Post  Jeremy on Fri May 01, 2009 9:51 am

Hi,
As one that feels strongly about the challenge of display and my own culture, I think many of the informal / intimate displays are either appreciated or not according to individual tastes, understanding and personal visual libary of the individual display.

To call and dismiss these displays on mass, silly, un-japanese, untraditional, etc., can be individually valid, but not much use.
Some are trying to explore their personal feelings and thoughts using these trees, self indulgent?, maybe, but it's a start.

For many is this not a starting point?, or at least only a few steps down a long and challenging path.

Personal I try and appreciate all displays, no matter where they originate. I can not help but use my developing taste and understanding of the suggested "visual notes" and responed to the feelings it evokes, feelings and memories they stir in me.
Some interest me and are just more to my taste,than others.

At a recent display of fine bonsai, I engaged an owner and presenter of a particular japanese informal display that I appreiciated.
I wished to learn more from this teacher, well experianced and respected for his displays and knowledge both here and in Japan.
Disappointingly all I could glean from him over many attempts, was how much the individual elements are worth. pale
For many, how much it can cost on the open maket is less interestng than what feelings it evokes.
Who's tradition is that within?

Jeremy
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avalon dreams

Post  alex e on Fri May 01, 2009 11:20 am

"Bonsai is a Japanese art and it is frustrating when people try to change it in to something else. It is all to often an excuse for people who find the discipline and patience needed to create and present real Bonsai works too difficult. The answer, make up our own rules."

INYOSHIN I have to agree! Avalon Dream

oh!!! No No No No No

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri May 01, 2009 12:42 pm

alex e wrote:"Bonsai is a Japanese art

What would someone from China say about this? No

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avalon dreams

Post  alex e on Fri May 01, 2009 1:57 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:
alex e wrote:"Bonsai is a Japanese art

What would someone from China say about this? No

Hi Rob, I actually quoted inyoshin and someone from China would
probably remove the sword the dragon etc etc and develop the tree
that is completely lost in all of the above scratch

regards Alex e


Last edited by alex e on Fri May 01, 2009 3:26 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling error)

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Avalon Dreams

Post  chris on Fri May 01, 2009 6:44 pm

The blackthorn that I have used in Avalon Dreams has many times been used in a formal Japanese way,

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Re: AVALON DREAMS

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