For the graces, we may believe, look with greater blessing on those who’re adorned with flowers, than on those who wear no garland.
In the societies of man, the various should be strung together into a garland of unity.
Almost every culture uses a type of garland as adornment. Materials at hand, such as fresh flowers, are strung in a loop that is draped on persons or objects. They may be guests who are welcomed its perfume embrace. They may be idols who each day receive this floral offering. Or they may be victors who are wreathed in glory.
Garlands involve a double act of appreciation. We celebrate the beauty of the world at hand, which we then use to honour a valued being of our culture.
Animita Ayúdame Papito: “So help me, father.” - Vania Ruiz discovers a Chilean folk tradition that she uses to bring her father back into her life.
Chiharu Shiota ✿ The Soul Trembles Ruptures Realities - Pamela See is intrigued by the Shinto roots in Chiharu Shiota's exhibition, in which she deconstructs the canvas to envelop the viewer in purifying threads.
Katheryn Leopoldseder: Ode to restoration - Marian Hosking introduces a jeweller who honours those who sustained the historic nunnery where she works, featuring a rosary for one of its restorers.
Plant Power Sisterhood ✿ Dancing a basket - Migunberri artist Jenny Fraser shares writings from Phoenix Maimiti Valentine and Gabi Briggs in her new anthology, Plant Power Sisterhood.
New Spring, Old Gods: Adornment for the people of the bear - Inari Kiuru shares the Finnish cultural roots that ground her work, reflecting an enchantment of nature.
Vicki Mason ✿ Wattle it be? - Vicki Mason has created a reversible necklace that activates the bounty of wattle blossom enjoyed across the world in sprinter (late winter, early spring).
Heirloom: a celebration of herstories 🇵🇱 - Grace Pundyk re-creates a traditional Polish wianek headdress to sustain a matrilineal thread across generations and continents.
Eddy Carroll ✿ A marigold journey - Eddy Carroll applies "wild patience" to the epic embroidery of a marigold garland which gathers together places of the wider world.
Isolation jewels: A well-made life - Vicki Mason "makes" the most of her time during 14-day quarantine, showing how a garland can invite imagination and create joy.
Art for life ✿ The hanging garlands of Pompeii according to Dylan Rogers - We talk to Dylan Rogers about his discovery of the true significance of the garlands that feature in Pompeii murals.
COVID: An opportunity for the handicraft sector in the long run? - LOkesh Ghai interviews artisans and finds there is more to consider than the immediate problem. This includes challenges but also a Garland of Hope and Wisdom.
Despite Lei Day cancellations, the spirit of aloha lives on - Like other events, Lei Day celebrations have been cancelled in Hawaii, but Lachlan Blain finds that the spirit of aloha will find a temporary home on mailboxes.
Male: The act of flowers - Krishan Rajapakshe pays homage to the garland-makers of Indian with his camera.
How to make a life out of lei-making: Lauren Shearer - Our attention was caught by the work of Lauren Liana Shearer, who lives in the Hawaiian island of Maui. Our online exhibition of lei-making was limited mostly to artists working in Aotearoa New Zealand. It seemed important here to take our more grounded view of how a floral artist in Hawaii makes a life out of her work.
Where did all the flowers go? Tamil festivals in Mauritius - Veemanda Curpen finds new Mauritian approaches to constructing floats for Tamil festivals
Na noqu salusalu: Garlands in Fiji - Tarisi Vundilo describes the meaning of the salusalu, reflecting the power of the maternal aunt (nei)
Te Moana a nui a Kiwa: A sōlevu - Luisa Tora has curated a sōlevu (gathering) of Moana artists who interpret the lei for here and now.
Tending relations: Lisa Reihana’s lei epic - Tessa Laird takes a serious look at the cliché of the Pacific lei through the work of Lisa Reihana and her own experience as a wedding guest.
Contemporary lei and body adornment from the Torres Strait Islands - Simone LeAmon travels to the islands of the Torres Straits to commission contemporary leis for the National Gallery of Victoria.
Mala: The floral garlands of India - Mitraja Bais explores the meaning of the garland that pervades life in India.
A Shanghai lei over: the plastic jewellery of Lauren Simeoni - Katharine Ahern follows the debut Lauren Simeoni's plastic leis into China.
The lei, the garland and the daisy chain - Fran Allison follows a path towards the Pacific lei via the European garland and doily
Lei in contemporary Pacific cultural practice, by Simone LeAmon - Simone LeAmon NGV Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture travelled through the Pacific nations of New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji in December 2015 to meet artists and identify leis for inclusion in the exhibition Art of the Pacific, a new display from the NGV’s collection of Oceanic art.
The fragrant myth of Parijat - Our special garland for #3 With Nature was devised by Tanya Dutt, who swapped an Indian summer for a bone-chilling Melbourne winter to help produce this issue.
A new garland for Fiji - The garland as a symbol of welcome is particularly strong in the Pacific. The role of the broader Pacific community is especially important when someone is devastated by a natural tragedy, as occurred with Cyclone Winston on 14 February 2016. It's natural that we turn to the garland as a source of support at this time.
Thailand residency: A string of flowers – a sequence of events - Jess Dare takes up a residency in Thailand to understand the culture of the garland. She faces a dilemma. How can a jeweller, who makes works of lasting value, respond to the culture of the garland which is so ephemeral?
Ned Kelly in bloom - Jacqui Stockdale’s photographic series for the Adelaide Biennial is a homage to the anti-hero, Ned Kelly and the folkloric narrative surrounding 19th century Australia.
Happy Vasant Panchami - Garland magazine is very pleased to share this harvest celebration with some tips about how to enjoy the Vasant Panchami festival. ✿ Like the article? Make it a conversation by leaving a comment below. If you believe in supporting a platform for culture-makers, consider becoming a subscriber.