I was lucky enough to visit the Chihuly exhibition at Kew last Friday with a group of lovely ladies from the ACJ London group. We were blessed with a lovely sunny day which helped to show off the iridescent qualities of the immense glass sculptures dotted through out the grounds of Kew Gardens. My ‘Nature’s Way’ collection of handmade jewellery highlights my love of nature, its colour, texture and structure but I have never wanted to replicate it. This is a similar view to Chihuly.
‘I want my work 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.’
The exhibition included works covering 50 years and while some might not have been totally to my taste, the majority were exemplary and stunning. Embedded into the beautiful surroundings of Kew they were both complementing and complimented.
As I entered the Temperate House I was struck by an immense blue cord of flowers suspended from the ceiling, and I thought there could be no more. But I was so wrong, I was surrounded! The colours were bright, vivid and bold. yet they did not seem garish, more camouflaged, and gradually a number of large scale sculptures could be seen peeping out of the foliage. Each corner you turned revealed a glimpse of iridescent glass which encouraged you to look deeper and search for more treasures. Even if it meant ascending the spiral stair case to the upper walk way – no mean feat for those suffering with vertigo.
Along side plant life I also have a great love of sea life, and so it seems does Chihuly. The Shirley Sherwood Gallery houses a display of of smaller works which really spoke to me. Decorate bowl like sculptures filled with smaller vessels evoking anemones, corals and shellfish. These pieces were delicate yet full of life and seemed to still be swaying in the deep seas, popping up from tropical sea beds.
While some works sank back into their surroundings, blending in with nature others stood bold, strong and alone in clearings.
But the common theme was that they were complimentary of their surroundings, what ever their scale.
All in all I had a lovely day and would encourage anyone to visit. Open till October 27th 2019.