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Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival is pleased to present an opportunity for ceramic artists to create artworks to inspire ikebana artists. Hiroe Swen will be the judge for this award. $1000 cash prize (non - acquisitive).

  • Date: 10.09.2022 11:00 AM - 11.09.2022 05:00 PM
  • Location Linen Room, Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Victoria, Australia (Map)


Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival 2022

Melbourne Ikebana Container Award & Exhibition (Biennale)

Finalists 2022


Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival is pleased to present an opportunity for ceramic artists to create artworks to inspire ikebana artists.

The choice of container is a quintessential element of ikebana. The artistic essence of ikebana lies in the creation of unity between a container and cut flowers by an ikebana artist. This unity makes it possible to capture the true spirit of the flowers.

Internationally renowned ceramic artist, Hiroe Swen will be the judge for this award.  

Exhibition: 10 & 11 September 2022

Venue: Linen Room, Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford, Victoria (Please check where Linen Room is on the map in our contact page before you arrive Abbotsford Convent)    

Important dates: 

1 July 2022: Entries open

10 August 2022: Entries close

19 August 2022: Finalists Announcement. See our News page. 

5 pm - 7 pm, 9 September 2022: Delivery of artwork

8 pm, 9 September 2022: Judging

11 pm, 9 September 2022: Winner announcement 

10am, 10 September 2022: Award ceremony

11:00 am - 5:00 pm, 10 & 11 September 2022: Exhibition (Admission Free)

5 pm - 7 pm, 11 September 2022: Collection of artwork


Prize: Hiroe Swen Award - $1000 Cash Prize (non-acquisitive)


Judge: Hiroe Swen

Ceramic artist, Former Lecturer in Ceramics at the Australian National University Institute of the Arts.

Hiroe Swen was born in Kyoto. At age 23 Hiroe began a 5 and a half year apprenticeship at the Kyoto Crafts Institute under master potter H Hayashi. At that time, female potters were very rare and Hiroe was a pioneer in ceramic society. She met her future husband Cornel in the mid-sixties and together they migrated to Australia in 1968. Hiroe and Cornel have lived in Australia ever since and throughout her life. Hiroe has been a prolific creator of ever changing and evolving hand built ceramics. In 2016, Hiroe-san was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays by the Government of Japan for her contribution to the promotion of Japanese culture and mutual understanding between Japan and Australia.

Hiroe has been a judge for Ikebana Gallery Award, the first online ikebana competition for all ikebana students.  

Message from Hiroe Swen 

Ikebana is an art consisting of flower and container. Choice of container reveals aesthetics that each ikebana artist has. The role of containers in ikebana is that of frames in painting and that of dishes in cooking. 

I always hoped that ikebana artists would choose a container carefully and also pay special attention to the ceramic artists who created it. Melbourne Ikebana Festival, where an international ikebana exhibition and a container exhibition are held side by side would provide an opportunity that ikebana artists and ceramic artists would cooperate and stimulate each other. 

After seeing many excellent finalists' works, I found it extremely difficult to judge. However, I would like to choose the work that would meets the following criteria. 

1. An Ikebana container created with unique and individual aesthetics,          

2. Not just beautiful to look at but also would give joy to ikebana artists, inspiring them to arrange their own ikebana work using it. 

Although there are many ceramic art exhibitions, this project established in Melbourne by ikebana artists is internationally and historically distinctive. I really look forward to seeing the development of this exhibition as well as the future of Australia’s own ceramic art that may be different from that of Japanese ceramic art. 

Curators: Ryoko Winstanley (Chief Curator), Shoan Lo, Sue Healey & Shoto Duke (Ikebana Artists)



Entries from all levels of experience welcome. Entrants have to be an Australian resident.

All artworks should measure 45x45x45cm or less.

Artwork has to hold water for ikebana.

One artwork per entrant (A set of two or more works is not accepted). 

The decision of the judges is final.


Entry Fee:

$40. Entry fees is non-refundable.


How to Apply:

1.      Please read the full Terms and Conditions carefully.

2.      Pay your entry fee (Aus $40) to Tsubo Melbourne Pty Ltd using (a) (b) or (c). 

(a) Transfer funds to Tsubo Melbourne Pty Ltd, BSB 033 070, Acc. 527917 with reference CA Surname Initial (eg. CA Smith P).

(b) Paypal Me. Send money using either credit card or Paypal

(d) Paypal QR code

3.      Send the following to, Subject: Container Award.

a. Name

b. Gender

c. email 

d. Mobile

e. Website

f. Facebook, Instagram etc.

g. ABN

h. Price of your work, Aus$ (Inc GST)

i. Size of your work (w X h X d cm)

j. Bank Account: Account name, BNB & Account Number

k. Short Bio (up to 500 words)

l. How did you pay your application fee ($40)? Paypal/Credit Card or Bank Transfer

m. Date you paid your application fee

n. Attach one image of one work (0.5M or less)

4.      Once your entry form and payment has been submitted, please allow up to 5 business days for confirmation of your entry.

Note (1): Your application will not be accepted if you send it without paying entry fee 

Note (2): Your application will not be accepted if you send more than 2 images of 1 or more works. Please send only one image of one work.   

Note (3): Please don't include flower arrangement in your work. 


Finalists Announcement:

Our curators will select the finalists. Finalists will be noted by email as well as on our website by 19 August 2022.   


Delivery of artwork to Community & Linen Rooms, Abbotsford Convent:

Artwork drop off (in person): Friday 9 September between 5pm - 7pm.

If artwork is not delivered by 7pm on Friday, it will not be included in the exhibition and fees will not be refunded.

Delivery costs are at the expense of the artist.

Melbourne Ikebana Container Award is a prestigious but small scale exhibition.  Unfortunately, we cannot accept entries by post, nor return unsold works by post. This helps us maintain our low application fee. We hope you understand.


8pm, 9 September 2022 - Judging takes place. Hiroe Swen will choose the winner.

By 11 pm, 9 September 2022 - Winner will be notified by text message and announced on our website (Please don’t contact us for the results). If you win the award, please join our award ceremony. 

Award Ceremony:

10 am, 10 September 2022 - Award ceremony as a part of Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival Opening at Linen Room, Abbotsford Convent. All exhibitors welcome. 


Collection and return of works:

Artist/courier collection in person: Unsold works MUST be collected from Linen Room on Sunday 11 September 2022 between 5 - 7pm.

Work not collected by the time may be disposed of.

Contact: Ryoko Winstanley,


Terms & Conditions:


1. All submitted works are for sale during our exhibition. 

2. Commission on sold works: 33% commission on artwork sales applies. This includes GST where applicable. We will try to transfer the agreed amount to your nominated account within 4 weeks from the exhibition.


3. We will notify when your work is sold during the exhibition on our website. Exhibitors are encouraged to check "Container Award Finalists" page in our website. 

If you received a notice that your work was sold, please send an invoice to Request 67% of the sale price. Please include your account details, BSB and account number. 

4. The people who bought the work will be asked to collect it at the end of the exhibition, 5pm on 11th of September, unless a special arrangement is made.  


5. Award: Award money will be transferred to the winner’s account in Australia within 4 weeks from the exhibition. We do not transfer money overseas.  

6.  Images of your work may be used in our website, instagram, YouTube etc to promote our event. 

7. Insurance: While we take the utmost care of artwork, Melbourne Ikebana Festival takes no responsibility for theft, loss or damage of artwork. It is advised that concerned artists purchase their own insurance. 


8. Cancellation: If this exhibition/award is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, we will refund your entry fee. Institution fees will be deducted.  

Stalls during the exhibition:

A small number of stall spaces will be available for ceramic artists or ikebana related businesses during the exhibition in or around our venue. If you have stall holder insurance, please send your Expression of Interest nowApplication opens in August 2022.