Oshibana, the Japanese art of pressed flowers, more than a passion for Adela Talpes​

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In a world where we often don’t have enough time for anything, there are people who manage to escape from the daily routine and find original methods of relaxation, which then turns into passion and sometimes they even become professionals in their field.

Adela Talpeş from Vaslui (a small city in the eastern part of Romania) is passionate about pressed flowers for over 20 years, from the moment she made the herbarium in fifth grade, and then by oshibana, the Japanese art of pressed flowers in which artists use vegetal pressed materials to, paint ‘ images of nature. From Japan, this art gradually spread throughout the world.

In 2009, Adela made the first picture of pressed flowers and then couldn’t stop. „The year 2011 brought my first award received in the US at the most prestigious international competition of artists with pressed flowers (organized by the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild) and this way, the feeling of intimidation from the start was wasted as smoke” says Adela on her blog (www.floripresate.ro).

We offer you a short interview with Adela Talpeş, where you will find out where the passion for oshibana came from, how she managed to take this passion so far, about the GreenArts concept and why more and more people embrace this beautiful art.

Reporter – Tell us, for those who don’t know anything about this art, what oshibana means and where did this passion for oshibana came from.

Adela Talpes – Oshibana is the Japanese name of pressed flower art composed of the words „oshi” (to press) and „bana” (plant), a relative of ikebana, which means arranging fresh flowers. My passion for oshibana actually began as a passion for nature and especially the vegetable world, with nearly 25 years ago when I even didn’t know about the existence of such an art. The first contact with the technique was pressing plants for the herbarium in fifth grade and then I continuously experimented, perfected my technique and I gradually came to create art. In my case, it was an autodidact long process because the information was missing in the early years. For those who want to learn this art now is much easier, because the internet offers many sources of information and also they can benefit directly from my experience attending courses and creative workshops that I organize. I wrote in detail about my evolution in the world of pressed flowers in two articles on the site www.floripresate.ro, which I warmly invite you to read. I wanted to be an inspiration and encouragement for those who want to follow this path.

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Reporter – I understand, from exhibitions and results achieved so far, that you are already an expert in the art of pressed flowers. How this art integrates in oshibana art? Please explain to our readers.

Adela Talpes – As I said at the beginning, oshibana and pressed flower art are the same. Oshibana term is used more in the Asian region and when underlining Japanese origin of this art is desired and pressed flower art is the internationally used name. It’s important to note that pressed flower art in the way I lately make and promote falls within the green arts, meaning arts using natural materials (pressed plants, seeds, shells, hemp, vegetable colors etc) in their original condition, without chemical processing and additives. In Romania, this artistic movement is represented by the concept GreenArts (green arts), whose co-founder I am, with the motto: „Nature expressed in art by Herself.” There are many artists who use alongside pressed plants other artistic media (graphics, watercolor etc.) or color plant material with dyes etc., making oshibana artworks of great artistic value, but which can not be included in green arts movement. More details about GreenArts concept can be found on www.greenarts.ro and www.greenarts.eu (in English).

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Reporter – Have you managed to forward your talent, those who want to learn about this art?

Adela Talpes – Someone said about art that is „outpouring of the interior offering that requires to be shared”, and I felt strongly the need to share the joy of creation and the closeness of nature with those who feel this inner call. God has endowed each of us with a talent or another, even if many are not aware of this. What I’m trying to transmit is a set of techniques specific to this art, but also a positive emotion, a mental attitude able to determine beneficial change in oneself and then in others.

For five years, since I started to organize workshops with pressed flowers, I worked with dozens of children, youth and adults, and among them there are some who wanted to go deeper with this art and followed oshibana classes. On the site www.floripresate.ro you can find information about workshops and classes I organize. For me there is no greater joy than the joy and satisfaction that I read on the faces of my students when finalizing a pressed flowers artwork and in all these years I haven’t met even one person who does not enjoy his/her creation. Art pressed flowers and other green arts have an important advantage compared to classical arts namely that such pre-created material helps very much the creator in making the artwork, thus facilitating access to artistic expression for those who don’t have special artistic propensity or they haven’t discovered it yet.

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Reporter – Do you have more ambitious plans to harness the talent and your work in this field? Maybe a small business?

Adela Talpes – My first priority is to use pressed flowers as a way of honoring God and nature created by Him and to inspire others in this direction, especially urban children who have lost touch with nature, but also adults who feel the need to rediscover themselves through proximity to the vegetal world in a creative way. I’m also passionate about the beneficial effect that creative work with natural materials has on the emotional state and hence on the health. In this regard, I completed a personal development through art coaching class and I continue my training in art therapy. Of course, the material part can not be ignored. I’m already building a small business linked to pressed plants, I teach classes and creative workshops, and soon I will open the first shop in Romania dedicated to all those passionate about this unique form of art, those who use pressed flowers for artistic purpose or in their business.

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This interview is a translation of the Romanian version written by Lavinia Oprescu and published in the online newspaper Gazeta Dambovitei, here.