When my husband and I were designing the workshop concept for Manila, one question came to mind. Is it possible to integrate the Foldscope to other disciplines especially the arts? If yes, how can I do it with the our learners? How can I make them see the images of samples from the Foldscope in an artistic way? Would they be able to see and appreciate their beauty?
During the first leg of Me and My Environment through Foldscope, the learners were intrigued with the image of an onion skin from the lens of the Foldscope. We asked them to draw what they saw and it is amazing how they came up with different interpretations of the same sample.
Upon returning to Tokyo, I was happy with the output of the said workshop and at the same time my eagerness to use it as an artwork strengthened. Fortunately, my husband played with some more samples after the workshop. One of which is a part of a Malaysian mum stem cut lengthwise.
When I saw this image, it reminded me of the wilderness. The top portion resembles the sun shining brightly above the mountain cliff while the bottom is similar to the water of a raging river. Using this interpretation as an inspiration, I tried to create an Ikebana arrangement.
The white peony and gladiolus symbolize the sun while the small yellow solidaster flowers represents its rays. The big dark peony leaves on the other hand mimic the rock formation or mountain clip while the euonymus leaves are like the water of the river.
Reflecting on the questions I mentioned earlier vis-a-vis the Ikebana arrangement I made, I believe it is doable to combine the learnings and discoveries using Foldscope to other disciplines especially the arts. While the learners get more curious of the scientific findings using the Foldscope, it is also possible for them to appreciate the different patterns, shapes, and colors of the Foldscope images. For the next workshops, I hope that we would be able to tickle the artistic side of the learners more.
About the author: Anna Budich is the Founder and Chairperson of KIDS Club Philippines, a group of friends and colleagues that aim to create safe and improved communities for the children through volunteerism. She is also a licensed Ikebana teacher under the Sogetsu School of Ikebana in Tokyo, Japan.