Saturday, 3 May 2014

Through The Twisted Glass

Most of us will be familiar with Dale Chihuly’s glass chandeliers. They can be seen on the ceilings of hotels and museum foyers the world over, often in the form of writhing translucent cephalopods with illuminated tentacles.

The creations that emerge from his studios have always fascinated me. The highly skilled craftsmanship required from his team is both very physical and labour intensive. Individual molten glass pieces being worked upon can weigh up to a staggering 40lbs, not to mention dealing with the intense heat of the roaring furnaces.

Up until now my favourite pieces were his javelin shards of coloured glass which have punctured many a botanical garden across the globe and his sea form ceiling installations, as shown to great effect in the foyer of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

His current exhibition at London’s Halcyon Gallery, showcases a collection of his renowned signature pieces displayed alongside some new gelatinous receptacles with which I was not familiar. Organic in structure, the amorphous vessels almost look as if they would ripple in the slightest breeze. Reflections become distorted as you peer through the glass to glimpse a view of a Carollesque world in which Alice would have been at home.



I've already visited the gallery several times whilst passing by recently. The playfulness in his work evokes that feeling of otherworldly, childhood adventures. So, if you too are a fan of magical journeys, therapeutic daydreaming and engaging your inner child, then get yourself along to the exhibition, it really is far out!

Dale Chihuly - Beyond the Object
Extended until 18th May 2014
Halcyon Gallery
144-146 New Bond St

22 comments:

  1. I love his fantastical chandeliers but the only one I have ever seen in person is hanging in the foyer of the V & A. I remember that he had an exhibition in Kew Gardens which I intended to visit but alas! I forgot.

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    1. Several years ago he floated the most wonderful pieces in the Serpentine, which was such a thrill when I happened upon them on my way to work.

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  2. Hi Paul, I love his work - my first exposure to it was actually at the V&A in London many years ago and last at the a huge exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. It truly is compelling. Love these pieces you are showing here, especially the two on the left that resemble aquatic flowers.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    xo,
    Phyllis

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    1. I think the floral shapes are called 'Persians' Phyllis. I'm not sure why but they are superb. Have a great weekend.xo

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  3. I popped in last week, I love that gallery, it's such a palette cleanser.

    ugh - on my 8th attempt at the wordy thing below - bottom of the class, I can't even prove to myself that I'm not a robot!

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    1. Didn't Marina and the Diamonds have a song proclaiming that very same point?!
      I might see if I can get rid of the wordy-doo-dah-thingy.

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  4. i've only seen one to date that i am aware off - the one at the bellagio in LV. amazing work of art indeed.

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    1. The Bellagio installation is magnificent. There is a smaller version of that psychedelic ceiling on show at the Halcyon Gallery too Mike. If you pop along to our Instagram account or our Facebook page, you can see a very short video of it.

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  5. Hello Paul

    I love the pieces you have shown from the exhibition at Halcyon Gallery.
    Chihuly has a museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. I often visit and my favourites are the garden sculptures.
    I find it interesting that he was an architect and of particular interest are his charcoal drawings from his early years.
    This short video you may find of interest
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b3Kg5wShec
    Have a beautiful week

    Helenxx

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    1. Thank you so much for letting me know about the museum Helen, I have made a note as I'd love to see more of his garden sculptures in situ. The video is fascinating and explains so much about where the shape and texture originates from. That style of expression that Pollock also used with paint is such a marvellous outlet and one that he translates to glass beautifully. I love the way he works quickly too. I wish I had some paint and paper to hand, I'd go out in the garden and do a Chihuly! :)

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  6. Paul, I think I've only seen his work at the V&A. That chandelier is stunning. These are absolutely fabulous. They look so soft and flawy. I love the greens especially. It would be hard not to touch! You always find the coolest things to share. I bet you were good at Show and Tell in school! xx Kim

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    1. Apparently there is a brand new piece in Harrods which I have yet to see, as the last time few times I was there I was more interested in stuffing my face but I may pop in next week to have a nosey round and report back.

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  7. Dear Paul,
    the objects you show look stunning - another reason to visit London soon. I haven't seen Chihuly's glass chandeliers before (though of course I have been often in the V&A - I cannot imagine that I overlooked such beauty?) In all the high rooms of old Berlin houses are very solid hooks for crystall chandeliers - the one I found is quite nice, though only traditional - but heavy too.

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    1. I hope you get to see the exhibits Britta. If not then the grand chandelier at the V&A is not to be missed. It's a beauty:)

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  8. Good God, they are magnificent!
    You always bring us the neat stuff.
    Di
    xoxo

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  9. These vases are all so exquisite and a work of art. Love their shapes and colours. Very creative and magical. No wonder you admire them so much.

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    1. They have such a positive and happy aura about them don't they Pamela:)

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  10. Hi Paul,
    I managed to pop into The Halcyon Gallery last week, on a very whistle stop visit.
    The pieces are stunning in real life (although your photos are pretty brilliant).
    Hope you have a lovely weekend,
    Lizx
    Lizx

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    1. So glad you got to catch the exhibition Liz. I am so glad that they are extending the dates, I may even pop in again when I pass this week:)

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  11. stunning indeed! and i must say i love the blue one...it induces a sense of being playful...

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  12. Paul- I've seen several Chihuly exhibits and they are all outstanding. The ceiling in the Bellagio is one of my favorites-/ there are also some magnificent pieces on some of the cruise ships we've sailed on. Some of his pieces are most unusual-- but they are all amazing!

    Love
    Vicki

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