Chihuly exhibition at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Discussion in 'Photography and Art' started by swgraham, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. swgraham

    swgraham Active Member UBC Botanical Garden

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Here are some pictures I shot in December 2005 at Kew, showing the weird and wonderful, and very organic, glass sculptures by the American artist Dale Chihuly.

    The display runs to mid January 2006, see:
    http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/chihuly/index.html
     

    Attached Files:

  2. swgraham

    swgraham Active Member UBC Botanical Garden

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Some more shots...
     

    Attached Files:

  3. swgraham

    swgraham Active Member UBC Botanical Garden

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    ... and a couple more. I think the clear glass display below was my favourite of everything I saw,

    Sean
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,030
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Kew used to just grow plants . . .

    Looks like now they grow tesque
     
  5. swgraham

    swgraham Active Member UBC Botanical Garden

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver

    Hi Michael, I was there as a botanist, but had heard about this display a few months back and was looking forward to seeing it in the context of Kew, which I had visited before. I wasn't disappointed.

    I did see some of the visitors pay more attention to the glass than the plants, but personally I think that's fine -- anything that brings a larger audience into botanical gardens is good news, to my mind. And this art is so organic -- it seemed very appropriate, somehow, to see this amazing blend of art and nature...
     
  6. Honeysuckle

    Honeysuckle Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas, US
    Re: Chihuly in the Garden

    Absolutely agree! I was at the Chihuly exhibit two years ago at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and it was a stimulating addition to the wonderful park. Well worth seeing and so much fun to photograph! (Here's one of my photos.)
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,313
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Those are pretty impressive. I can see why it helps bump up visitorship.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,625
    Likes Received:
    510
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    I've spent hours watching TV shows about his projects. Although sometimes spectacular, most of his stuff looks like doodles to me--which is, in fact, sort of how it starts out. The Kew show is another example of how divorced from natural beauty we in this culture continue to be, with tropical foliage displays far more diverse, complex and fascinating serving as a foil to a buncha slightly goofy glasswork. I wonder how the last flowering of a titan arum there compared as a draw. I bet alot more people are coming to see these artificial objects, based on natural ones but not as beautiful.
     
  9. swgraham

    swgraham Active Member UBC Botanical Garden

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I agree Ron, and not all of it was to my taste, but what I liked, I liked a lot. I very much like the organic aspect to the art -- a good marriage of natural and manmade? While surprising, it didn't seem at all out of place amongst the natural wonders collected at Kew, and I bet there'll be more than a few people who came only to see the glasswork who will end up wowed by what else Kew has to offer.

    I did manage to see Kew's titum arum (Amorphophallus titanum, Araceae) while I was there. Not the 'world's largest flower' (as the media love to characterize it), of course, but quite astonishing nonetheless. No-one else was around while I looked at it, but I saw it just before closing time at Kew -- not really a fair test of your hypothesis about it being a lesser draw to the public! I was at RBG Sydney while it was in bloom there, and it seemed to be a huge hit with the public. Here's a couple of pictures of the infructescence (for scale, each individual fruit is about an inch or so), to balance out all that glass!
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Honeysuckle

    Honeysuckle Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas, US
    Re: Chihuly in the Garden

    When I saw Chihuly, we just came to see the Botanical Gardens and had no idea there was an art exhibit going on at the time, but I was delighted to get to see both! It just made our visit even more interesting (the artwork was very attractively and thoughtfully laid out, often spectacular for the sheer scale and brilliant colors, even if I didn't see his work necessarily as art that I'd like to own), and we didn't look at the plants any less because of it.
     
  11. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Thank you Sean for sharing the photos of
    Kew and the Chihuly exhibition. Some
    people just do not understand art and its
    various forms. The marriage of two art
    forms of glass and plants can work as a
    nice blend. Glass is every bit life as the
    glass artisans apply their creative talents
    to make art for us to enjoy. The whole
    purpose of such an exhibition is not to
    implore people to show up and later
    count the number of people that paid
    their way through the turnstiles, although
    it helps keep the lights on, but instead is
    to offer a glimpse of the coming together
    of two life forms for us to feel at peace
    with oneself with nature along with an art
    form created through elements of nature.
    I'll enjoy seeing these kind of photos any
    day whether I could have attended the
    viewing or not. Thank you again.

    As a side note: the only photo of me that
    has ever been online that I know of was
    taken with me standing under a Chihuly
    installation ceiling wearing a tuxedo at a
    prestigious gathering.

    Jim
     
  12. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,494
    Likes Received:
    199
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I think there is a long history of people displaying sculpture in garden settings. To me the art can enhance the beauty of a garden and the garden provides the perfect setting for viewing and contemplating art. Music and theatre also find a good venue in gardens.

    I am guessing some of you do not care for UBCBG's taking part in the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale by hosting the installation of the Minotaur for 18 months.

    I suppose people's taste for art may be more subjective than people's taste for plants.

    Personally I like the whimsy of Dale Chihuly's glass a lot, but I guess I was exposed to a lot of when I was living in Seattle and it first came on the scene. It has become quite a large production, which turns some people off.
     
  13. goat

    goat Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southcentral Pennsylvania
    Like all artists, some of his works are better than others. His most beautiful works (in my eyes( are those that seem to marry glass and living organisms emphasizing the best of both. I would never turn down a chance to see an exhibit, esp not at Kew!!!
     
  14. John Farrer

    John Farrer Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sechelt BC
    I was there just as they were setting it up, in February 2005. I see they added a lot after I left.


    John
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 3, 2006

Share This Page