Saturday, April 13, 2019

Chihuly at Kew - official first day

Today is the first day of Chihuly - Reflections on Nature.  6 months of wonderful glass sculptures at Kew.  Obviously I'd seen a lot over the last couple of weeks as it was being installed.

I arrived early, it was freezing waiting at the gates.  But...

 started at the Palm House of course

 Summer Sun.  overlooking the pond.  Still think it should be called a bad hair day, but that isn't a reflection on nature so I guess Dale Chihuly knows best!

I do love this piece.(and it's huge)
 urn of tulips at the pond edge.  fountain was off today, sadly
  "Paintbrushes "

 "red reeds"  outside the Waterlily House...
 and inside.. oh boy!!

"Ethereal White Persian Pond"

I LOVE this one!
the first time I went in just after 10, it was really humid so I had the lens misting up problem..

but the glass is extraordinary

this piece was made in 2018

it was mesmerising.  I can see myself spending ages in here

 "Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower"

I headed for the Temperate House, I was desperate to walk under that fabulous centrepiece; but first...

the pathway up to the east entrance, with the tulip meadow under the cherry trees (I had seen a picture on the BBC website so had seen what was to greet me)

 I'll tease you a little longer.. the trees are looking stunning!
"Cattails and Copper Birch Reeds"

 growing out of the grass, amongst the tulips.

it will be interesting to see how they seem once the tulips have finished.  not sure they'll be able to cut the grass before October though!

sadly the sun wasn't out, so we'll have to wait to see them with the sun glinting off the reeds

 can you tell I like this one?

as I am writing this up and checking the leaflet for the names of the pieces, I realised I have missed one of the exhibits... not sure how I did that...

oh well, next week!

 it was fabulous to walk underneath and shoot up into the glass.

"Persian column"

I was chopping and changing lenses like a loony

 so many colours, when you zoom in close

 it really is superb!

"Beluga Boat "

not sure... maybe it will look different at night!

 blown glass and a wooden boat

 couldn't see a sign by this one, perhaps someone forgot!

Yellow Herons and Reeds

"Fiori Verdi"

 "Turquoise Marlins and Floats"

I love how the "vases" reflect the windows

 I came back to look at these again after I'd walked round the upper level

 am going to have to come at a different time of day to get the lighting right for my "framing" requirements!

I was talking to a lady who agreed about the framing though.

 these are in a different place to last week,  these are the ones I couldn't get close to but have now been moved to the dry river bed under the
 climbing the stairs you get a better view of the boat and the blue bottle type pieces

 wider angle view.  you can see the pieces dotted around the central cross section

took my longer zoom today (makes the bag very heavy, my shoulder was aching at the end)

but it was worth it to get closer in

 and as I said a few minutes ago, you can really see the colours!

 the top.  love all those yellow and green spikes!
still hardly any sun

 Fiori Verdi from above
extreme zoom!

 the pieces looks very different from above.

 you know I can't resist a reflection selfie!

 I had to walk back under the column with the long zoom on,

 love the patterns in the base of this piece.

 you get an idea of the scale on wide angle with the people walking round the upper level

 through the next section.  realise I have forgotten to name check this one.  Will look next time I go.

 let's not forget the plants!

beautiful blossom outside

 "Opal and Amber Towers"
 they are going to look amazing when the sun comes out...


 took the path leading away from the Temperate House towards the "jelly"

 "Lime Crystal Tower"
constructed from polyvitro and steel

this is an older piece, from 2006

it was also roped off all round so you couldn't approach up to the edge of the planting round the base.

time to go into the Shirley Sherwood gallery (where Life in Death was)

took an arty shot of the outside...

there was a sign up to say you could photograph the exhibits for your own use.

I am SO glad because I was WOW'd again!!

 an exhibition of some of his indoor pieces are artwork ...

 LOVE the way this is displayed and the shadows dancing on the walls.

such clever lighting
 would be proud of this in one of my journal pages!

 at the end of a corridor just outside the main gallery... WOW again!

I was torn between trying to get them all in one shot and zooming in..

will do close ups next time!
 Dale does mixed media.

there was a large range of merchandise on sale... the Kew website says "something for all budgets".... not sure about that.  Saw a blanket that was a couple of hundred pounds and some artwork that was nearly £3000!!

I will probably get a copy of the Chihuly at Kew book when it comes out next month though.

 back outside and following my trail (so I still don't know how I missed one!)

this is the refurbishment on the Pavilion restaurant, looking forward to it re-opening.

they are starting the landscape the outside now, although still working inside the restaurant too.

 headed towards the Pagoda and the Japanese garden where there is another exhibit...
 this tree is huge, not sure what it is, couldn't get close enough to the trunk to see a label.

it's flowers look familiar, but I don't know..
it looks like the chaenomoles I saw last week, but it is so big, not sure if they grow this big.

had the grass not been wet I'd have lain down to get the pagoda in the background more.

it's such a beautiful colour!

 this was as low as I could get without getting muddy

 Niijima Floats. (1992 - 2018)

no idea how you get blown glass to look like multi coloured marble balls, but it works!
obviously an on-going passion with how old some of these are!

 they looked fabulous on the immaculately raked gravel of the Japanese garden though

surrounded by trees full of blossom

 I love this green one

 the Japanese garden is in my opinion, at it's best this time of year, but I think I'll be back to see the Floats again!

 it looks like someone is playing a giant game of marbles!

the sun came out!

 walking back past the Temperate House...

 where  my camera battery died on me, luckily I carry a spare, but I  had  a battle getting the protective cover off it.

eventually I managed...

 so that I could take these beautiful pink and white flowers ....

 before a few more of this!

had I walked up the middle path rather than the grass, back to the Palm House, I would not have missed the exhibit I did miss!

 I am glad I didn't miss the new growth on this huge tree though..

 and a view through the trees of "Sapphire Star"

the one I missed is behind King William's Temple in this picture... if only I'd taken the map out again!

ah well.. it's not as if there won't be time to see it..

the label was visible today on this tree
"great white cherry"

it was certainly both great (in size and quality) and white!

 another huge tree

 went for another look in the waterlily house...

 very like the colourful display in the Temperate House, only white/clear.

 it was worth another look
 tulips at the top of the Broad Walk

 and another look at the "paintbrushes"

the sun was trying to shine on the bristles!

 took a fragrant walk along the Broad Walk

it was raining now!

 I went into the Princess of Wales glasshouse to get out of the rain and look for water dragons (which were hiding again)

 very grey rain laden sky behind the Hive

I made a dash for the Orangery restaurant and the loo.   I'd have stopped for refreshments but with the rain, it was packed and there were no seats.  So I abandoned that idea
 fortunately, coming back outside the rain was reducing .

time for some raindrops

 white daffodil

 orange tulips

 another large pink tree

 the POW from the Broad Walk

 the sun came out again

 whilst I was trying to get in close on the macro for raindrops I noticed a tiny spider in this tulip

 had another play with the globe lens

I love this of one of the urns (actually can it be an urn without a hole in it?)

and this is what it looks like when you rotate the picture
 I walked along the Palm House
 took some closeups of the Summer Sun sculpture

you can see the raindrops now, I couldn't whilst I was there

 water drops on tulip leaves in the Palm House beds

 tulips inside the main entrance
 Sapphire Star.

like the Lime Crystal Tower, it was roped off from the edge of the path so you can't get close now, like I could last week (boo!)

through the tree at the edge of the path

 more big tubs of tulips at the entrance

it was raining again now so I decided to call it a day and headed home - I was wet enough already.

obviously as soon as I got on the bus (engineering works again today) the sun came out!

Looking forward to another visit next week.

thanks for sticking with this one, think this may be the most pics I've ever uploaded!


Julia Dunnit said...

Staggeringly lovely, Kew is the perfect place for Chihuly. Wonderful pics H.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'd been waiting for this day with bated breath, then I had to be late visiting.

I believe Sun was the first installation, at least from your photos. So glad you showed the tulips in the urns, too. I think those are fabulous.

Paintbrushes?? Yes, they DO look like paintbrushes but the red reeds don't look like any reeds I've ever seen. Ethereal White Persian Pond reminds me of the flowers we have at our art museum, only all of ours are colored, not that ethereal white. Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower reminded me of feathers. You had me at copper when you showed Cattails and Copper Birch Reeds. I fell in love with it, also. Persian Column reminds me of flowers in our museum. This is stunning. Beluga Boat looks like swans with their heads in water. The no-name columns were lovely and reminded me of candles. At first I didn't get Yellow Herons and Reeds, but once you zoomed in, the herons were apparent. I saw Fiori Verdi last week and the week before. It reminds me of cactus. I LOVE the color of the Turquoise Marlins and Floats. I guess the purple and turquoise balls are the floats. When you went high, the boat looked more like a boat, but I still think it looks like swans. That cobalt piece is still my favorite, at least color wise. The green no-name looks like a fern to me. I'll be curious to see what the name is. The Opal and Amber Towers look better up close, I think. And you already know what Lime Crystal Tower reminds me of! Niijima Floats are extremely impressive. Such a wide range of work over the span of many years,too. I was tickled to see them displayed in the Japanese Garden, a garden you seldom visit. I can see where Sapphire Star gets its name, but from a distance, it reminds me of a dandelion with exposed seeds.

Dale Chihuly's indoor at is out of this world. I've never seen anything like those before and they were absolutely stunning. His mixed media really impressed me, too.

I loved every photo this week, Helen. They were all outstanding.

Diana Taylor said...

Thank you so much for your link to this, I was so excited I've rushed over and will have to go back and leave a comment in a minute! I'm a huge fan of Chihuly and your pictures are fabulous - it must have been an amazing experience, and I've really enjoyed browsing through your wonderful visit. Thank you again!
Diana x

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Wow, you took a lot of nice photos. (I found your blogs through Bleubeard and Elizabeth.)

craftimamma said...

What an amazing post Helen! I have to say there are a few Chihuly pieces I'm not at all keen on, in particular the older yellow blobby one. It's still not growing on me, lol, and I'm not enamoured of the Sun but.......they are more than made up for with the others most of which I think are glorious. My absolute favourite I think has to be the Persian Column. It's such a stunning blue from a distance with the other wonderful colours becoming apparent when you get closer. The Fiori Verdi is next on my list I think. Love all the textures that appear when you look at both these pieces in detail. The indoor exhibition has some breathtaking pieces too and I'm looking forward to the close ups of those lovely pieces at the end of the corridor. They have to be another of my favourites.

I have to say though, the photos that stole the show for me are all those beautiful tulips, with and without raindrops. Absolutely stunning.

Looking forward to the next post already and you shouldn't get wet this week. Don;t forget the sunscreen, lol!

Lesley Xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'm going to leave this comment on both blogs.

For reasons I won't go into, I have been locked out of blogger. This is a devastating problem for me, especially since I am in the middle of my recycle campaign. However, I have set up a HOPEFULLY temporary blog to get me through until I can reclaim mine. Please tell everyone you know, and please visit me starting tomorrow (April 20) at:

Even if you don't normally visit me daily, I could use the support right now. And Happy Easter, dear Helen.

butterfly said...

Extraordinary sculptures - thank you so much for sharing all those photos, close up and full scale... just amazing. And stunning work from Mother Nature too - the blossom is almost too beautiful too bear. A glorious post, thank you. I'm going to send Cestina to take a look too...
Alison x

Cestina said...

And I hastened straight there! Kew is very close to my heart anyway since I grew up in Richmond, not far from the station, and was walked every day to Kew as a little girl. Threepence into the turnstyle to get in in those days! I spent many hours running round and round the Pagoda and exploring the bluebell woods.

Family legend has it that Queen Mary spoke to me there and clearly infected me with her love of all things miniature.

So many happy memories! You have taken such wonderful photos and brought Kew itself, and those amazing sculptures, right into my living room. Thank you!
Gil aka Cestina xx

Andrea Small said...

Hello Helen
I was signposted here by Cestina and goodness me was it worthwhile! A fabulous collection of photographs and an astonishing exhibition - those reeds!!!!!