Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chihuly @ Denver Botanical Gardens: then and now

As many of my regional readers know, Denver Botanic Gardens has been hosting an exhibit of sculptural glass installations by renowned Seattle artist Dale Chihuly since June. I was fortunate to visit the gardens several times over the past few months and enjoyed seeing the juxtaposition of the vibrantly colored, hard and shiny glass forms within a variety of ever-changing garden settings.

 Red Reeds, above, features some of the longest hand-blown glass elements Chihuly and his studio team create. I like the sharp contrast of the red on green colors, while the vertical reed forms harmonize with those of the grasses in the Porter Plains Garden.

This sculpture is one of my favorites. The chunky, ice cube shapes are very different from the more linear or round forms that Chihuly so often works with, yet they retain an organic sensibility. The blue color added to the sense of coolness in the middle of a hot, dry garden full of plants with small, gray-green foliage. In the autumn photo the piece is set off nicely by the bright orange foliage of an oak tree.

Same installation, different view. The rustic rowboat full of colorful, shiny balls is just plain fun, Unfortunately, the entire lily pond was packed with different installations all vying for the visitor's eye. And on the other side of the spruce trees — in the Japanese Garden — yet another rowboat full of baubles. Hmmmm . . . sometimes more is just more.

A few of my favorites:
blue on blue
even the bees love it!
the ripples in the glass match the flow of water against the back wall
wonderful color echos in the autumn garden!
love the color / form match with contrasting texture. lively and elegant at the same time
Aconitum in the autumn sun
Summer Sun, composed of 1,901 individual glass elements
can't wait to explore the new science pyramid!
This exhibition was over five years in the making, and I think the attention to detail in siting the glass installations in the gardens resulted in some wonderful vignettes — through the seasons — that are truly memorable!
Brian Vogt, CEO of  Denver Botanic Gardens, with Dale Chihuly
The exhibit continues through November 30th. Don't miss it!

All photos copyright Jocelyn H. Chilvers, 2014


Les said...

I was able to make two visits during our trip to Colorado this summer. Once I was all by myself with no time constraints and didn't have to worry if I was lingering too long over one piece of glass, or if I had taken too many photos of this or that. It was a luxury I'm not usually afforded. Later we went back as a group at night with dinner and a bottle of wine, and it was great fun.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

So glad you got to enjoy it when you were here. The photos on your blog are phenomenal!!