4th BSA Exhibition – 2009

4th BSA Exhibition – Show Report

The 4th British Shohin Association’s Annual Exhibition was held during the weekend of Saturday 28th February & Sunday 1st March 2009 at Willowbog Bonsai. Following the huge success of last year’s exhibition, there was again favourable weather, a fabulous atmosphere and even more bonsai on display.

Honoured guests Marco Invernizzi and Peter Warren selected the very best displays, and along with BSA Chairman John Armitage provided informative and interactive sessions throughout the weekend.

As with the previous BSA exhibitions, the show was staged at Willowbog Bonsai near Hexham with this year’s event promising to be bigger and better than before – visitors to the show were certainly not disappointed with what proved to be the best display of shohin and chuhin bonsai in one place.

Over 70 quality shohin, chuhin and mame exhibits made this year’s show the biggest ever BSA exhibition. Started from modest beginnings in January 2006, the BSA show has soon grown to become one of the UK’s ‘not to be missed’ exhibitions – and this year’s show proved to be an amazing success with the standard of display surpassing previous years. The quality level of the exhibited trees have improved year on year, with tables, accent plants and scrolls carefully selected to bring the out the beauty of the bonsai to an even greater appreciation. This year, to allow the trees to be seen more prominently, the number of tokonamas and exhibition spaces was increased, giving exhibitors an even better display area for this special exhibition.

In addition to the displays of shohin and chuhin compositions and individual tree exhibits, eight of the best bonsai Potters from the UK exhibited ranges of their beautifully designed shohin and accent pots. The potters kindly donated their pots on display for a silent auction, which proved to very successful fund raising opportunity for the association – greatly appreciated by all.

A regular feature of the BSA show, and great learning experience is the show critiques, led by Marco Invernizzi, president of the BSA. These were very popular and Marco entertained and informed in his usual enthusiastic manner. Marco explained every detail behind the compositions, what worked well, what could be improved as well as answering concisely every question thrown at him.

In addition to the show critiques by Marco, were two hugely entertaining and informative talks by Peter Warren on the evolution of bonsai display and shohin display. Peter, a former apprentice with Kunio Kobayashi in Japan, shared his illustrated talks with the capacity audience from his extensive studies in Japan, and featured many rare and unique insights into this fabulous aspect of the art of bonsai display.

John Armitage , BSA chairman, gave a very well received illustrated talk – ‘Life as a bonsai student in Japan’ – John’s return visit to Taisho-en, one of Japan’s top Shohin nurseries under Nobuichi Urushibata.

The Saturday evening event was well attended and again featured good food, good conversation and camaraderie – followed by a hugely entertaining auction by Marco of high quality bonsai pots, stands and scrolls kindly donated by members and friends of the BSA. Marco’s promotion and selling techniques were stretched to the limit in order to raise as much as possible for the BSA – all gratefully contributing to the production of the special book of the BSA exhibition.

6 beautifully crafted trophies would make the weekend even more special for a few lucky exhibitors – with many certificates of merits being awarded due to the high standards of the show.

Winners List from the 2009 Show

Best in Show composition Duncan Hield
Certificates of Merit to:
Sue Summers
Roger Oldham
John Armitage
Best in Show Shohin Conifer John Armitage – Itoigawa Juniper
Certificate of Merit to:
Roger Oldham – Juniper
Les Storey – Japanese Yew
Gary Evans – Japanese Red Pine
Best in Show Shohin Deciduous or Broadleaf Bob Bailey – Chinese Elm
Certificates of Merit to:
Susan Summers – Azalea
Duncan Hield – Zelkova
John Brocklehurst – Gardenia
Best in Show Chuhin Conifer Ian Stewardson – Itoigawa Juniper
Certificates of Merit to:
John Armitage – Itoigawa Juniper
Ian Stewardson – Itoigawa Juniper
John Brocklehurst – Juniper
Best in Show Chuhin Deciduous or Broadleaf Ian Warhurst – Privet
Certificate of Merit to:
Russ Farley – Hawthorn
Craig Coussins – Privet
Caroline Steward – Trident maple
Best in Show tree or trees of European origin Duncan Hield – Thymus
Certificate of Merit to:
Bill Gordon – Willow
Dave Hannah – Common Juniper
Doug Mudd – Potentilla

Thanks for the support!!
There were lots of favourable comments on the standard of the show throughout the weekend, and we would like to thank all the exhibitors, potters, traders, helpers and not forgetting the visitors for their support. The show is truly established as a National event with participants from across the UK coming together to make the BSA show weekend a truly unforgettable event!

Thanks to Marco and Peter Warren, who gave their time to the show free of charge. Marco’s enthusiasm and passion for the art remains an inspiration to us all! Thanks also to John Armitage who has worked tirelessly over the last year leading up to the show – his little van nearly worn out travelling the highways of the UK all in the name of the BSA and bonsai!

A special thank you is made to Peter and Jean Snart of Willowbog Bonsai, who again for the 4 th year have worked tirelessly in supporting the BSA and allowed the exhibition to be staged – it is only with the support and commitment from the BSA members and Willowbog Bonsai can the BSA show be realised.

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