To Make Flowers Live

“While painting is an expression of art drawn on a canvas with brush, ikebana is an expression in three dimensions composed of plant material arranged in a vase. Nature is our paint brush.”

Ikebana is the art of Japanese floral arrangement and the word ikebana means “to make flowers live”. Plants are beautiful as they are, but with the help of humankind, they can be arranged in an effective style to be more fully appreciated.

“Art is Lily” is the work of Ikebana & Visual Arts by artist, Lily Karmatz. Lily has been practicing the art of Ikebana for over 30 years. She started teaching at the Sogestu style of Ikebana in Brisbane since 1998. Browse through the galleries to see her contemporary Ikebana and Visual Art.


Ikebana Artist – Lily Karmatz

About the Artist

You might be an artist who would like to introduce yourself and your work here or maybe you’re a business with a mission to describe. Lily Karmatz was born in Malaysia and now lives and practices her art in Brisbane, Australia.  She is a visual artist and also an Ikebana artist and teacher. She has taught Sogetsu Ikebana at the Brisbane Institute of Art, public venues and at her own studio for more than 20 years. Ikebana is the ancient art of Japanese flower arrangement which resonates deeply today as the world becomes more environmentally aware and sensitive. Lily’s extensive artistic experience, knowledge and teaching abilities are greatly in demand.

Not only is she an installation artist, Lily is also an accomplished painter, sculptor, ceramist and a mixed media artist. Her work is often ephemeral in nature and large in scale. A few of her Ikebana and installation works can be seen in the publication Ikebana Today by an international publisher, Stichting Kunstboek, Belgium.

Her work

In her art practice, she also likes working with digital art.  She has designed and produced brochures, promotional materials and digital art. She was also a monthly Ikebana lessons contributor for Floral Design Magazine (2004 – 2008) published in New Zealand and distributed internationally.

In both 2008 and 2012, Lily was invited to be the Artist in Residence at the Cary Art Centre in North Carolina, USA.  From 2011 to 2021, she was selected as one of the Artists on Tour (AoT) by Flying Arts, an organisation that promotes and services visual art education and workshops throughout regional Queensland.  In 2010, she was invited as Artist in Residence for Eco Ephemeral Art, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. During her residencies she created installations and conducted Ikebana art workshops for adults and children. Among her many activities, she is the Ikebana workshops facilitator.

For Lily, Ikebana is not just about beautiful flower arrangements in the house.  Her philosophy is simple and direct:  “Ikebana as an expressive art form is a disciplined combination of natural elements, human creativity and the constant perfecting of technique.”  As one student so aptly said, “Ikebana brings nature to my home environment.  It’s an art form that can be appreciated with the whole family.”



Diploma in Fine Arts, Brisbane Institute of Art


Certificate in Fine Arts, Brisbane Institute of Art


Teacher Diploma, Sogetsu Ikebana certificate, Tokyo, Japan

Practicing artist, Ikebana teacher and workshops facilitator for school and college, public events for children and  adults. Commission works for ikebana displays/installations for offices and special events.
2004 -2008
Monthly Ikebana lesson contributor for Floral Design Magazine, published from New Zealand for International readers.  
OVERFLOWING, a solo exhibition for artist residency projects, Cary Art Centre, North Carolina, USA
FLOWER PATHS IN TIME, Ikebana & ceramics exhibition, Gallery NONA, South Brisbane.

ARCHITECTURE CHAOS, BIA Members Exhibition, Gallery Metcalf, Windsor, Qld


NATURAL RHYTHMS, Pines Rivers Art Gallery, Strathpine, Qld


GARDEN Inside & Outside, Gallery Metcalf, Windsor, Qld


WABISABI, Earth Art Installation, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers supported by Toowoomba City Council

NOT SO WOMEN SECRETS, Laurie Gallery, Annerley, Qld


5 WAYS, Gallery Metcalf, Windsor, Qld


Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Ikebana Installation and Gallery displays supported by Toowoomba City Council

1995 - 2013

SOGETSU IKEBANA Annual Exhibition, Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane


CONNECTIONS RENEWED Metcalfe Gallery, Brisbane


BRAVO, installation art exhibition, Gallery NONA, Brisbane



FLOTSAM & JETSAM, Ikebana, paintings & ceramics collaboration, Gallery NONA, Brisbane


ONE STEP UP, Gallery NONA, Brisbane

SUNFLOWERS IN THE CITY, Project Gallery, Griffith University, Brisbane
CHILI DOT COM, winner of floral installation, Brisbane ABC Gardening Expo
TIDE OF THE DAY, selected mixed media painting for the Art Award, Pine River Shire Gallery
OVERFLOW, assemblage sculpture, highly commended

BETOOTA - CHANNEL COUNTRY LADIES EVENT, Ikebana art workshop, Artist on Tour organised by Flying Arts


SEASONS, book cover design for Carindale Writers' Group

ARTS IN THE OLIVES, Ikebana art workshop organised by Flying Arts for public arts festival


ALL SORTS AND ALL SHORTS, Ikebana displays and book cover design for Carindale Writers' Group book launch

ECO EPHEMERAL ART, Artist in Residence at Minjerriba, North Stradbroke Island

KID'S DAY OUT, children hands on workshop, sponsored by Brisbane City Council, Mt.Coot- tha Botanic Gardens


BAMBOO INSTALLATIONS & IKEBANA WORKSHOP, supported by Japan Consul and  Brisbane City Council for the Japanese Garden 20th Anniversary Celebration, Mt. Coot- tha Japanese Garden

BALANCE, floral installation, Brisbane ABC Gardening Expo

KID'S DAY OUT, children Ikebana workshop sponsored by City Council, Mt.Coot-tha Japanese Garden

THE ART OF IKEBANA, public talk and Ikebana demonstration for "Modern Times" exhibition, invitation by Brisbane State Library Queensland


SPRING DAZE, Artist in Residence invited by Cary Art Centre, North Carolina, USA

KID'S DAY OUT, children Ikebana workshop commissioned by City Council, Mt.Coot-tha Japanese Garden


LIGHTING THE PATH TO THE FUTURE, feature display sponsored byToowoomba City Council for Toowoomba Flower Carnival


LINES & VINES, Ikebana feature display for the 14th Annual Pine River Shire

ART AWARD, commissioned by Pine Rivers Shire Council

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, bamboo installation feature display for Toowoomba Flower Carnival sponsored by Toowoomba City Council


FRUIT OF THE LOOM, bamboo installation feature display for Toowoomba Flower Carnival sponsored by Toowoomba City Council

OLDER & BOLDER, Ikebana workshops commissioned by Pine Rivers Shire Council

2007 - 2020

Masterclass Ikebana (2020). Published by Stichting Kunstboek,  Belgium

Whispering Flowers (2015). Published by Stichting Kunstboek,  Belgium

Ikebana through All Seasons (2011) by Mit Ingelaere-Brandt. Published by Stichting Kunstboek, Belgium

Contemporary Ikebana (2009) by Mit Ingelaere-Brandt. Published by Stichting Kunstboek,  Belgium

Ikebana Today (2007) by Mit Ingelaere-Brandt. Published by Stichting Kunstboek, Belgium.

International Floral Art (2008 - 2009)

Ikebana Classes and Workshops – old page

With today’s life being surrounded by high technology gadgets, it is easy to disconnect our ties with nature.  Ikebana connects you to nature, bringing great pleasure as you spend time immersed with flowers, branches and greenery. It brings an awareness of the beauty of nature. Ikebana is an art form that can be shared with and enjoyed by the whole family, bringing beauty to the living space.

Express yourself through the art of contemporary Ikebana.  Anyone with an interest of working with nature will enjoy learning the art of Ikebana.


Ikebana classes are conducted based on the Sogetsu Ikebana School curriculum.  Each booking is for 5 sessions @ 2 hr per session, making a total of 10 hrs for the course.

  • Day class –  fortnightly on Wednesday from 10am to 2.30pm
  • Evening class –  every Monday from 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Beginner package :- $350 for FIVE 2 hr sessions.  The fee includes ONE handmade ceramic container, ONE kenzan (pin-holder), plus floral materials for TWO of the five sessions.

The fee for students who continue after the beginner package is $150 for 5 sessions, BYO floral materials.

If you would like to have a trial lesson before booking the beginner package, you can enrol in:

ONE Trial Lesson – $60 for a 2hr lesson that includes only floral materials. Arrive with nothing and leave with your artistic creation & the inspiration to create many more arrangements.

All classes must be paid in full prior to commencement.


Special workshops for learning about Ikebana, materials and techniques, can be arranged for private groups, clubs, organisations, schools and others. A minimum of 4 participants, adults or children, are welcome. The fee varies from the type of workshop and workshop space. Please contact for more detail.


Lily is a registered teacher from the Sogetsu Ikebana School in Japan. Students are eligible for a certificate of achievement issued by the Sogetsu Ikebana School of Japan on completion of 20 lessons.  The certificate can be applied for on your behalf at a small fee paid to the Sogetsu Ikebana School in Japan.  Certificates can be issued up to teaching level. For more details, please contact the teacher.

Class Location

Regular classes are held in the specially built art and Ikebana studio set in the tranquil garden of the artist residence in an inner Brisbane suburb of Queensland, Australia. Free on street parking is available. 


If you have an interest in learning Ikebana, would like to have Ikebana displays for your home or office, purchase any art works or simply wish to comment on the floral style, we would love to hear from you.

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