Dale Chihuly is one of my favourite artists and I have written about his exhibitions on several occasions. The most recent was my trip to Kew Gardens in the spring. Seeing the pieces in a natural environment, unhindered by the confines of a gallery space was something I didn’t think could be bettered. But I was wrong.
Kew is known for its Christmas lights but I’ve never been to see them. When I saw adverts for a night time visit to the Chihuly exhibition, literally seeing the works in another light, I was straight onto it. Tickets booked, friends organised…we were in!
We arrived around dusk and after a short wait to enter we were off on a magical walk. At first the paths seemed a little crowded but as we walked on into the nighttime, guided only by fairy lights and music playing among the trees we often found ourselves alone. Kew in the day is fabulous but at night it becomes more elemental. As you tread closer to the heart of the gardens the air gradually cools. Shadows tumble around you and it starts to feel like another world entirely. Add to this mix the illuminated sculptures, which glow like jewels in the darkness and it is simply magical!
My favourite piece from the day time trip was the water lily house. Once again I was captivated by this installation and the reflections created by water and light was perfection.
Second place went to the indoor pieces which also cast otherworldly shadows across the walkways.
We were among the last people to leave the gardens that night and left full of plans to finally book for the Christmas lights this year…if it is half as good as this experience, I think it will become a regular calendar event!
©Chez l’abeille 2019