Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chihuly at Kew Gardens, 2005/6

Today, coming across Debra Prinzing's site Shed Style, two of her posts caught my eye: first, having just been writing about the patterns of Palm trees, there were some delightful photos from Tuscany, showing the patterns made by rows of Italian Cypresses alternated with Italian Stone Pines- both trees popular in Santa Monica.

Secondly, there was a post about the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, including some of the unbelievable glass sculptures made by Dale Chihuly, an artist from Washington who initially studied glass blowing in the Venini factory in Venice. This reminded me that I had long been intending to share some of my memories and photos of an inspiring installation Chihuly created in Kew Gardens in 2005.

I was taken to Kew Gardens by one of my cousins on a cold Winter's day and was overwhelmed by these glowing exotic fantasies, which I would have loved to have made myself! As one approached the Gardens, there was the lake afloat with brilliant coloured bubbles of glass and then the Glasshouses were full of these highly stylized but amazingly convincing glass tropical plants, interspersed among the wondrous residential ones. Often it was difficult to distinguish what was organic and what was glass. Chihuly had totally connected with Kew's environment and Kew Gardens were inspired to use his conception.

Kew is always wonderfully rewarding in itself but there is something very exciting about combining Art and Nature.

Starting with the lake:

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