Running currently and on show until October 27th 2019 at the Royal Botanical Garden, Kew, a major exhibition of the work of celebrated glass sculptor Dale Chihuly features artworks in locations.
One of the world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artists, Seattle-based Dale Chihuly has a 50-year career using glass, paint, charcoal, graphite, neon, ice, and a lightweight polymer he developed and named Polyvitro.
The body of work currently on show at Kew Gardens demonstrates the evolution of his career over fifty years, and includes 32 artworks in 13 locations including glasshouses, vistas, and galleries, all designed to resonate with Kew’s architectural and horticultural features.
The majority of the artworks have never been seen in the UK, and highlights include a specially designed artwork suspended from the ceiling of the newly restored Temperate House; Sapphire Star, the individual blown glass forms of which radiate outward to create a celestial visual experience; and 12 works hosted in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art (the world’s only gallery dedicated to botanical art), which will also show a film detailing Chihuly’s creative process.
Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, USA, Dale Chihuly is a graduate of the University of Washington, worked at the Venini glass factory in Venice, Italy, and co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. He initiated Chihuly Over Venice in 1995, creating sculptures at glass factories in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, for installation over the canals and piazzas of Venice, and his work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. Ironically, he lost the sight in one eye to a injury by glass in a car accident.
Dale Chihuly says: “I am honoured to bring my work once again to Kew, with its magnificent landscape and extraordinary glasshouses – structures which have always captivated me. How do you describe a beautiful building like the Palm House or the Temperate House? We are planning something special for the centre of the newly-restored Temperate House and I’m excited to see it come to fruition.”
The Dale Chihuly exhibition is free with admission to the Gardens.
To accompany the exhibition, Kew is publishing Chihuly at Kew, a book featuring photography of the artworks and an introductory essay by Tim Richardson.
Chihuly enthusiasts will also have an opportunity to see the artwork in an entirely different light through an exclusive after-dark experience with food, drink, and music featuring wind instruments and the human voice.
Chihuly Nights runs from 15 August – 26 October, Thursdays – Saturdays. Tickets on sale now at www.kew.org.
Support for Chihuly at Kew comes from DS Automobiles, an avant-garde, quickly-emerging, premium car brand with a new, second-generation range that is offered with every model being available as a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) or PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid petrol-Electric Vehicle).