May 29th, 2005

Strolling in the Gardens of Glass

Kew Gardens' new exhibition "Gardens of Glass" opened yesterday. Scattered throughout the gardens are a selection of new and older works by Dale Chihuly.

I'm a big fan of Chihuly's work, and an opportunity to see more than 25 installations of his glass works less than 15 minutes from our door was too good to miss.

The weather was fine, and the bright sunlight added reflections and colour to Chihuly's massive (yet oh so fragile) art. Passing clouds and the slow moving arc of the sun's path made each moment with each sculpture new. Sometimes finding the art was an expedition in its own right, the installations hidden amongst the green of Kew's immense greenhouses.

There's a Flickr photoset here.

Dale Chihuly: The Sun Dale Chihuly: The Sun (Detail) Dale Chihuly: The Sun (Detail) Un-named Dale Chihuly glass work Un-named Dale Chihuly glass work Dale Chihuly: Basket Sets Dale Chihuly: Reeds Dale Chihuly: Reeds (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Reeds (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Green Grass (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Herons (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Herons (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Herons (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Herons (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Nijima Floats (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Nijima Floats (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Nijima Floats (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Herons (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Thames Skiff  (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Thames Skiff  (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Thames Skiff  (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Thames Skiff  (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Thames Skiff  (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Walla Wallas  (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Thames Skiff  (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Thames Skiff Dale Chihuly: Wall Wallas (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Wall Wallas Dale Chihuly: Wall Wallas (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Yellow Palm House Tower (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Yellow Palm House Tower (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Scarlet Palm House Tower (Detail) Dale Chihuly: Scarlet Palm House Tower Dale Chihuly: Palm House Star Dale Chihuly: Palm House Star

Of course, we only visited two of the three main sites (the Palm House and its lake, and the Princess Of Wales Conservatory) - so next time, it's off to the largest collection of glass in the Temperate House...

The Gardens of Glass exhibition runs untl the 15th of January 2006.
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I see dead rockets

A rather fascinating photo essay covering the fallen hulks of rockets launched from Baikonur.
All space-bound rockets consist largely of fuel tanks and booster stages that fall back to earth when spent, never reaching orbit. In landlocked Baikonur, Russia's primary launching complex in Kazakhstan, these spaceships crash to earth. This photo essay visits the areas where the supporting rockets land, and shows the people living under the flight paths who contend with flaming spaceship wrecks several times each month.
Rag and bone men scavenging the ruins of the space age - it's another of those "we're living in an SF novel" moments. Only now it's more The Centurai Device than Neuromancer...





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