• Japanese Aesthetics: Contemplation by Design

  • Date:  Saturday, October 6, 2018
    Time:  1:00 pm - 4:00pm

    Location: Bloedel Reserve, 7571 N.E. Dolphin Drive, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

    We will convene for the slide presentation at the Reserve's Visitor Center. 

    Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre experiential public garden and forest reserve, offering 14 distinct landscapes--including a Japanese Garden and a Moss Garden.  The Reserve's Japanese Garden is among the top Japanese Gardens in the United States.

    Getting there:  The Bloedel Reserve is located on the north end of Bainbridge Island, WA.  It is roughly equidistant between the Bainbridge Island ferry landing and the Kingston ferry landing.  Click here for Google Maps.

  • Click here for Bloedel Reserve's announcement of this event.

    For more info call Bloedel Reserve events:
    1-842-7631 ext. 16   or send email to: events@bloedelreserve.org 

    Teacher:  Victoria Scarlett
    Victoria’s a long time student of Japanese arts, culture, and Buddhism, has visited Japan and lived with Japanese artists for many years, and is a student of ikebana (Japanese flower arranging).  For more about Victoria, click here.

    Bloedel Reserve members: $15
    Non-members: $32
    NOTE: This event has filled up very quickly.
    Seats have been added.
    Act now, if you feel called to participate!

    Click here to register

  • Are you longing to go deeper in your connection to nature, your relationship with life, and your appreciation of the arts? Do you feel energized by quiet spaces, introspection, subtlety, or meditation? Are you an art and garden lover, or a designer?

    This program--focused on traditional Japanese culture, its love of nature, and Zen-related arts--offers the opportunity to pause, attune yourself to design choices, have an immersive experience, and reflect on the values that are foundational to the aesthetics of Japan.


    Come and learn about Wabi, Sabi, the beauty of empty space, asymmetry, transience, tranquility, and other qualities of beauty highly valued by the Japanese. Our focus will be on design choices associated with the arts associated with Tea Ceremony, Japanese flower arranging (Ikebana), and Stone Gardens design.

    We'll look at beautiful slides that illuminate the setting of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, from mossy 'dewy ground'​ gardens to the rustic tea huts they surround, to the serene space within which the ceremony takes place. You'll learn how every aspect of the guest’s experience is carefully designed to create a contemplative experience and awareness of nature.

    Next we'll look at what makes Japanese flower arranging (Ikebana) distinctive. Originally practiced by Buddhist monks, Ikebana's use of asymmetry and "empty space" offers a beautiful way to recognize and embrace life in all its irregularity and "imperfection."

    To conclude we'll dive into the minimalism of Japanese dry landscape gardens, and the elements that compose them (stones, gravel, and moss). The simplicity of these gardens creates a space to experience peace and mindfulness.


    Following the slide talk, you'll have an opportunity to stroll and contemplate the Bloedel Reserve's beautiful Japanese Garden (which includes a dry landscape garden) and Moss Garden. (See links below.) It's part of a meditative exercise in which you are invited to go deeper--keying in to visual strategies that you've encountered--and reflecting on how design choices interact with your experience.

    Lastly, we'll reconvene to anonymously share our thoughts and insights (written during the stroll) with the larger group. Participants at previous events have remarked that this communal sharing is a unique and profoundly moving way to end the day.