London Life Exhibitions

Dale Chihuly at Halcyon Gallery

February 13, 2014

I’ll never forget that day in June 2001 when I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum to see an exhibition by an american artist specialising in the most extraordinary hand-blown glass pieces. I’d heard of the Persian Ceiling and my friend who knew my weakness for colours and pattern suggested I drop everything and take myself to see this extraordinary display! I immediately fell in love with Dale Chihuly and his magnificent glass sculptures and the rest is history.

Some of you would have seen or at least heard about the incredible sculptural glass chandelier permanently hanging in the V&A since 2001 and some of you might have even visited Chihuly at Kew Gardens back in 2006.

Well, the incredible Chihuly is back in London. On Tuesday Harrods unveiled his new Amber and Gold Chandelier in their refurbished grand hall entrance and last Saturday a major selling show opened in London’s Halcyon Gallery. I immediately rushed over to intoxicate myself in these beautiful, complex and architectural sculptures and was particularly delighted to see neon artworks never previously shown in the UK.

Dale Chihuly: Beyond the Object concentrates on the relationship between a hand-blown glass artwork and the space it inhabits. There is an enormous amount of work displayed and I wanted to purely give you a taster and a guaranteed dose of beauty and colour. There is no way any photography can do these masterpieces any justice but I’m hoping to at least transmit the vibrancy, energy and sheer brilliance!

“For centuries people have been fascinated with glass. It’s like a gem, but fragile. Glass has history, it has life, it’s from the earth.” Dale Chihuly 1995

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Garden and Glass, 2012

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery

“There’s something about putting the pieces overhead, on top of the plate glass, that makes you think of the sea – it’s sort of the reverse of having the glass underwater. There’s a feeling of water – at least there is to me. I suppose somebody else could think it’s something they might have seen in the sky or in a dream. Dale Chihuly

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Standing on the stairs showing the Persian Ceiling

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Detail of Persian Ceiling 1

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Detail of Persian Ceiling 2

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Detail of Persian Ceiling 3

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Detail of Persian Ceiling 4

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Detail of Persian Ceiling 5

” You can more directly sense my energy in my drawings than in any other way perhaps. And from the very beginning, the drawings were done, as my glass is done, very quickly, very fast.” Dale Chihuly 

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Drawing 1

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Detail of Drawing 1

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Drawings 2, 3

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Drawings 4, 5

“I was struck by the grace of their slumped, sagging forms (Northwest Coast Indian baskets). I wanted to capture this grace in glass.” Dale Chihuly

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Baskets 1

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Baskets 2

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Baskets 3

“The Macchia series began with my waking up one day and wanting to use all 300 colours in the hotshop.” Dale Chihuly

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Macchia 1

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Macchia 2

“Over time I developed the most organic, natural way of working with glass, using the least amount of tools that I could. The glass looks as if it comes from nature.” Dale Chihuly

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Detail of Fiori

“I tend to do things on a large scale because it’s exciting. I like to push things in new and different ways.” Dale Chihuly

dale chihuly at halcyon gallery
Detail of Tower

“What I’ve always really been interested in is space. Even when I made a single Cylinder or Macchia, my interest was always in space. I was thinking not of the object itself, but how the object would look in a room. What I’m looking forward to is opening the ovens in the morning and taking the pieces out and then being able to work with them. Putting them together.” Dale Chihuly 1998

I think that sums it up perfectly, don’t you?

Dale Chihuly: Beyond the Object
8th February – 5th April 2014
Halcyon Gallery
144-146 New Bond Street
London W1
020 7100 7144

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  • Reply Michaela February 14, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Love!!!! Wow how totally gorgeous! I adore glass – in fact I had a go at glass blowing recently which was totally amazing – I must dig my photos out. You’re photography really is incredible! Happy Valentines Day 🙂 xx Michaela

    • Reply tina February 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Wow! I’d love to have a go at glass blowing. That must have been totally inspiring! Yes, please, share some photos on IG or on the blog!!
      Thanks love. Not the easiest lighting to photograph in.. glad you enjoyed it.
      Happy belated V day xx

  • Reply Parisbreakfast February 14, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I LURVE his work!
    Brilliant and nice too..I met him at an opening and could barely speak.
    He introduced himself instead to me 😉

    • Reply tina February 17, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      So DO I…

      Haha. Tongue tight?? Haha. Love that he introduced himself to you:-) That made me smile!

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey February 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Firstly, I do love the sculptural glass chandelier that hangs in the V&A’s entrance. Always quite breathtaking.

    I must confess to not knowing Dale Chihuly. I am however always fascinated by the many things that people are able to do with glass. I do favour a calmer aesthetic, such as the glass pieces from iittala, but I can see the majesty in what you’ve photographed above. It’s pretty extraordinary.

    Thanks for sharing Tina 🙂 x

    • Reply tina February 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      I remember when it went up and they filmed some of it… it was so innovative and brilliant
      and of course, it’s not dated at all, how could it??

      I think he’s the master of all glass artists. There are many more ‘calmer’ pieces in the Chihuly repertoire, there was a whole cabinet of white glass pieces that I chose not to show. They were equally breathtaking.

      Err, I’m not sure we can compare iitala’s glass ware to the art and mastery of Dale Chihuly. Two very different things.

      This here is a selling exhibition with pieces ranging from £30.000 to £1000.000. There are many smaller pieces for sale. If I had the budget and space (to show it off appropriately) I would definitely invest into one.

      What I did do though after seeing the exhibition at the V&A is take lots of photographs with a non-digital camera and transfer them into slides (remember those).
      At that time I had bought the ‘Slide Light Wall Lamp'(36 slides) by a company called SUCK UK (I think I had one of the very first lamps) and used Chihuly slides in them. I still use the lamp daily in my bedroom.

      Pleasure x

  • Reply Alison Sye February 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Awesome is an overused word – but these truly are. Absolutely exquisite, Tina. I love glass, anyway – but this, WOW!

    • Reply tina February 17, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      They are absolutely exquisite… if you get a chance, go and have a look. You won’t be sorry, I promise! x

  • Reply Mel February 15, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Truly spectacular Tina! I’ve only recently rediscovered the beauty of glass sculpture, what I love most about it is the vibrant colours. Thank you for sharing Tina, I particularly love the Persian ceiling. Mel x

    • Reply tina February 17, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      The colours are incredible and as you can imagine, rather difficult to photograph! What I love most is looking at it from different angles and seeing the colour combinations it throws off. It also very much depends on the lighting.

      The first time I saw the Persian ceiling at the V&A Museum I literally couldn’t breathe out of excitement. It left me speechless and all I wondered was if one day I could commission Chihuly to do one for me…. (I’ve become more realistic since then)…

      Thanks Mel x

  • Reply Nicola February 16, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    How fascinating, to look up at his forms through a plate glass ceiling. Quite, quite beautiful.
    The pieces truly look as though they’re from nature.
    Wonderful photographs too, thanks Tina x

    • Reply tina February 17, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      I’m surprised you didn’t see his exhibition at the V&A… the Persian Ceiling was the highlight.

      I agree, they do look as though they’re from nature.
      Thanks Nicola x

  • Reply Catherine@farmhousehome February 18, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Stunning and vibrant! I have a couple of glass sculptures (not as amazing as these) friends gave me as a gift after I had my youngest daughter Hayley that I cherish!

    • Reply tina February 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Thank you Catherine. What a wonderful gift to be given! Bet you cherish them x

  • Reply Doris February 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I absolutely love that glass installation at the entrance of the V&A. His work is so vibrant and fascinating. Your photographs capture the brilliance of his pieces so well. Thanks for the inspiration. xD

  • Reply tina February 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Yes, me too. I’ll never tire of it!

    Pleasure Doris x

  • Reply Warhol Icons at Halcyon Gallery - colourlivingblog May 23, 2016 at 7:50 am

    […] always inspired when I can visit the Halcyon Gallery on Bond Street. You can read about their Chihuly exhibition I blogged about a couple of years […]

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