‘Setting Sun’ created in 2020 is a quintessential of Chihuly’s daring approach to large scale installations. It’s dimensions are 14 x 14 x 14’
A beautiful burst of brilliant red & yellow, this fiery ball of tentacles stand out on the expansive grounds of the Meadows at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.
It was unfortunate that the spotlights illuminating the glass sculpture had technical issues, so we had to be contented with just the peripheral lights with the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in the background.
Standing at the Serene Garden is ‘The Moon’ 23 x 9’ created in 1999 for Chihuly’s exhibition in Jerusalem in 2000.
Hundreds of irregularly shaped blown glass discs in white, opal & rich blue make up this spherical installation that hints of its celestial namesake.
Mesmerising by day & spell-bounding by night.
‘Red Bamboo Reeds’ 2020
Dale Chihuly, an American born in Tacoma, Washington in 1941 was introduced to glass whilst studying interior design in the University of Washington. He continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin in 1965 & furthered at Rhode Island School of Design. He was invited to work at the famous glass factory of Venini in Venice in 1968 & the glass blowing techniques that he learnt in Italy influenced his work immensely.
‘Black & Green Striped Herons with Icicle Clusters 2015
This artwork demonstrates the artist’s penchant for organic, free flowing forms that mimicked the natural world.
With the variety of forms in this ‘Fiori’ series, Chihuly creates compositions that range from stand alone ones to multiple ones with different elements brought together.
‘Yellow Herons’ is another example of how Chihuly tries to work with the techniques he has learnt over the past 35 to 40 years to create these playful forms.
The iridescent glow of the ‘Yellow Herons‘ looked like they are lighted up fluorescent tubes.
The ‘Ethereal White Persians’ hover gracefully over the waters of Serene Lake. Chihuly’s ‘Persians’ series first exhibited in 1986 at the Louvre in Paris.
The ‘Persian’ series is a celebration of form, scale & colour. Originally presented on pedestals, the dramatic compositions have evolved to include installations mounted on walls, overhead on ceilings & assembled to form chandeliers & towers.
Light & shadows, glass & steel projecting their reflections on the Serene Lake & dancing on the water’s surface.
For Chihuly the ‘Persians’ evoke an ancient sensibility & brings to mind Venice, the near & Far East.
The ‘Palazzo Ducale Tower’ is a snowy white beacon that shines in the lush green scape of the Serene Garden.
Even this tiny lizard is intrigued & checking out the icy tentacles of this glass tower.
The icy beacon illuminated & creating a powerful visual impact.
This brings to mind, Kryptonite the green crystalline material that emits radiation that drains Superman’s power.
‘Red Reeds’ This series originated during his time in Nuutajarvi, Finland which he revisited. This interesting composition looks like birthday candles placed in front of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
These tubular shaped Reeds are dramatically created; requiring one glassblower to stand elevated on a mechanical lift whilst blowing through the pipe to stretch it & another to pull the glass towards the ground.
These are just some of the outdoor exhibits that were seen at the Meadows & the Serene Garden at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.
It is a wonderful eye-opener & introduction to glass artworks & its propensity.
Glass has always been fascinating to me & I have a collection of dichronic jewellery that are handcrafted by glass artists. I have pieces found during my trips overseas in places like Ljubljana, Venice, Melbourne & Okinawa. Some other souvenirs like cups & plates from Sydney, Istanbul, Auckland & Murano Glass in Venice.
If Dale Chihuly Glass does come to your part of the world, be sure to visit his exhibition of artworks & architectural installations & be wowed by their beauty, amazing colours & grand scale.