• Annemarie Rawson

KEW GARDENS: CHIHULY - REFLECTIONS ON NATURE

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Do you know of Dale Chihuly? He is regarded as one of the most daring and innovative artists working in glass. You will be astonished (and moved) by the beauty, grace and colour of his incredible creations, some of which are now imbedded into Kew Gardens until October this year. What he says about his work is “I want it to appear like it came from nature, so that if someone found it on a beach or in the forest, they might think it belonged there. We don’t use a lot of tools, but natural elements to make the glass - fire, gravity, centrifugal force. As a result, the work begins to look like it was made by nature”.

Chihuly (pronounced Chih Hooley) lives in Seattle and had 11 x 40 ft containers ship the glass and steel to London. It took 18 installers 18 days to get everyone of these masterpieces put in situ. Each creation has a steel centrepiece with steel rods, running from this centre. The glass creations are then “threaded” onto the rods.

For those of you in New Zealand, you will find some of Chihuly’s pieces at Sculptureum, Matakana, just outside of Auckland. If you haven’t been, I would make a point of going as this garden/gallery can certainly hold its own on an international stage. The collection is outstanding and the owners have travelled extensively, bringing their treasures back to New Zealand and creating Sculptureum for us all to enjoy. On site too, is a fabulous restaurant (Rothko) so make sure you book lunch when you plan your visit.

Where we live we are only about a 45 minute bus ride to Kew, so it is easily accessible for us. I love walking the paths through Kew and after a lot of rain yesterday morning, the sun came out and with it, all the wonderful flower, plant and tree fragrances. In particular, I could smell the gum tree from quite a distance. It is so distinctive.

Hundreds of people were with us, wandering, and everyone was oohing and aahing at the beauty of Chihuly’s work. You will too, when you see how it sits in both the landscape, The Temperate House and the gallery.
















Kew Garden: https://www.kew.org/ Dale Chihuly: https://www.chihuly.com/ Sculptureum, Matakana, NZ: https://www.sculptureum.nz/ Rothko Restaurant: https://www.sculptureum.nz/the-restaurant




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