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WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

I am a Dutch-Australian who grew up in Melbourne. My background is dance/theatre performance art and installation and I co-founded media performance unit 66b/cell <www.66bcell.com> with my Japanese partner in the 1990s in Tokyo. I spent over 25 years in Japan, where I studied the Sogetsu style of Japanese Ikebana and acquired my teacher certification. Living in Japan has deeply influenced my sense of aesthetics, awareness of nature, and attitude to life and art.

WHAT IS IKEBANA?

This is a question that really can't be answered in a nutshell and I encourage people to do their own research to learn more deeply about it. To put it briefly, it is an art form with a long tradition, from floral offerings in temples to simple adornments placed in alcoves (called tokonoma). It became popular among the general public and today there are many schools, including Sogetsu. Compositions can be as simple as a single flower or leaf, to more elaborate arrangements incorporating flowers, branches, and other objects. There is always a sense of symbolism and seasonality. Nowadays it is an art form that can be shared and appreciated by everyone.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO MOVE TO CAIRNS, FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND?

A place where mountains meet the sea evokes a certain nostalgic feeling, and there are echoes of Japan, with canefields instead of rice paddies. With an abundance of flowers and foliage, I'm seeking a kind of tropical zen!

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