Monday, 9 March 2009

Drawing emotion from Hokusai

I imagine that when the Japanese artist, Hokusai carefully crafted his Great Wave off Kanagawa as a woodcut in the 1830s, little did he think that a garden designer in Western Europe would try to capture the emotion in the image. For me the cresting seedheads of the miscanthus are like the foaming waves breaking into claws and having planted very tall miscanthus on either side of a grass path, it feels like walking through a giant wave, each side tossing and turning in the breeze.

In the second woodblock shown here called Fuji Seen From the Sea, dated 1834, the tension is shown through the fine lines which create the force of the wave. I think calamagrostis and miscanthus stems echo this linear force and I love to draw the comparison between his art and our style of gardening. Yesterday's cull (see blog below) bought a joy of its own....destructive yes, but working with these beautiful stems was a pleasure in itself.

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