I was going to choose a flowered scarf today, but decided to go for an abstract, highly coloured lightweight silk square in shocking pink and verdant green. I knew my destination was going to be colourful as a visit to Kew Gardens was planned to look at the exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s glass. This was not my first visit. I first saw his work at the V&A and then Kew in 2005 and I had seen his latest Reflections on Nature several times. Somehow at Kew one can always see the glass differently as the natural plantings around the static glass changes. I liked the combination of the waving flames of orange, red and yellow glass in early Spring with the sparsely planted tulips echoing the glass colours. Later in the year, tulips died back and the grass, allowed to grow naturally, tried to catch up with the height of the glass flames which would not be subdued.
I think my favourite installation was the blue and purple tapers around a little temple. What a picture against the lilac coloured blossom! The majority of his glass is blown in his studio in Oregon with the help of a big team under his guidance. I was told some of this purple came from Finland.
I believe he worked with fishermen whilst he was a student so maybe that is where he fell in love with sea forms. How incredible to blow glass and create this beautiful pink piece which echoes nature in its design.
Dale lost an eye many years ago, suffers from bipolar illness and yet has created masterpieces of design and let’s face it......marketing. He is also an avid collector of stamps, pocket knives, carnival-prize figurines from the first half of the twentieth century, Ernest Hemingway books and Vincent Van Gogh memorabilia. I don’t think he has found scarves yet!
My family should be relieved I don’t have mood swings and not one pocket knife.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!