Thursday, March 12, 2009

Desert Glass--Night and Day

This is the third and final entry devoted to the Chihuly exhibit (Chihuly: The Nature of Glass) at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

This exhibit was quite impressive, but equal in its impact on us has been the desert. Seeing this small preserved portion of the desert that used to cover the entire area of what is now Phoenix has left us wanting to spend more time in this unique environment.

We both have been surprised at our reaction, but seeing the beauty of the flowers and the variety of the plants that have survived under arid conditions has had a "magnetic effect" on us. We are left wanting to explore more.

Combining the somewhat stark and uniform environment of the desert with the brilliance of the glass productions of Dale Chihuly produces an environment that almost requires one to travel the Garden on one's hands and knees.

This unusual approach to touring this exhibit would get one close to ground where the tiny details of the desert are hidden and provide a "desert's eye view" from which to incorporate Chihuly's creations--especially this hanging work.

However, until this grossly impractical method of navigating the trails becomes adopted, we will be satisfied with walking the trails of the desert garden.

Viewing these works at night under a full moon and with small floodlights brings a new magic to the life of the desert.

It has been said of Chihuly's works displayed in gardens: "The gardens (or desert in this case) provide the dominant theme in Chihuly’s most recent exhibits and enable the artist to juxtapose monumental, organically shaped sculptural forms with beautiful landscaping, establishing a direct and immediate interaction between nature, art, and environmental light."

Chihuly has been described as "A dominant presence in the art world . . . (such that) there can be little doubt that his lasting contribution to art of our times is an established fact."

No comments: