Glass Art Fantasia in Seattle

Many times when in downtown Seattle, we strolled by the Chihuly Glass and Garden, or colloquially named the Glass Sculpture Garden, near the Space Needle.  We finally paid the admission fee and went inside to discover what lay beyond the glass sculptural twirling shapes sticking up over the bush hedges.

Sunset ideal to see outdoor garden at Chihuly Glass and Garden. Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong. Twilight adds to other-world experience of abstract glass art interspersed among flowers and trees.
Also indoor glass art gardens with multiple different glass scultptures. Chihuly Glass and Garden. Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Alchemy of Glass Colour, Textural Illumination and Light
Glass Sculpture Garden showcases glass-blown artwork of international  and local-bred Dale Chihuly, the glass artist. Much of his frontier-breaking artwork are abstract shapes; large-scale, logic-defying art installations and inventive  glass firing with juxtaposing glass art colours, shapes and light.

Fiery lit burning tree rises over glass garden. Chihuly Glass and Garden. Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Boat spilling over with glass art pieces. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Start Visit Just Before Sunset
For full glass fantasia, other-world effect, it’s best to be at the garden, about one hour before sunset and on a day with some sunlight but not glaring bright summer sunlight which would wash out mysterious art shadows. The visit includes indoor art installations which takes advantage of moving and dancing natural light.

Early evening shows off floral butterfly-like glass art indoors. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Scattering of glass flowers with shadow of Space Needle. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

You’ll see what I mean: my skyward head-turning photos during misty, rainy late afternoon. We didn’t quite plan our timing which led to some unexpected wonderful views of the glass sculptures.

Artfully placed glass art creates a skyward penetration of floating colours and shapes. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

I must have spent nearly 50 minutes, craning my neck at 75 degree-angle to shoot some glass art ceiling.

Glass art festooned ceilings mirror underwater-like magic of sea life.

Mirroring Underwater World of Imagination
Inside there are glass sculpture art ceilings with masses of carefully positioned art pieces overlapping at times.  End effect was sometimes, underwater glass sea life suspended in glass watery waves, shimmering glass flower baubles and bubbles. Or exploding underwater glass with  genie bottles floating in the water-air.

Delicate work of hand blown glass art bowl. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

I noticed two Asian women taking a lot of selfies and others. They ignored the glass art fantasia ceiling above them. Finally I walked over and politely told them, they won’t see this type of art work on this same scale elsewhere. They politely edged away from me: clearly an (art) nut.

Glass art within glass art with native Indian weaving design motifs. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

There were some large rooms, where the glass sculpture garden was translated on ground, in artfully darkened rooms with strategic light where the glass garden reflected onto the black floor. A boatload of glass art bauble garden was laid out in one room. Another room featured a forest of grass, round glass boulders and blown lilies.

Artful boat of handblown glass art baubles. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Here and there, were Chiluly’s huge firebursts of crazy explosions hung from the ceiling or mounted outdoors as a glass exploding tree of light and fragility.

Lit glass sculptures among ornanental vegetation –blend of above and undersea garden aura. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong. Yellow lit glass sculptural tree stands by.
Flaming fiery glass bush explosion art piece outside main building. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Shimmering Glass Sculptures Among Coastal Fairytale Forest
Then outside, after the light drizzling rain evaporated in the cool fall evening, we crept slowly through semi-manicured coastal evergreen tree gardens with red sapling trees and ornamental fluffy lettuce plants which were punctuated with wavering glass sculptures and glass-like beach shore baubles.

Glass triffid-like glass sculptures near entrance. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Glass tree glows by garden. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Twilight dropping over surreal glass art shapes and garden. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Light penetrating through glass art ceiling. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Walk abit further where shimmering, some glass-lit art pops up among a weather-worn, fallen giant old-growth tree trunk and twisted branches.  The tableau was Hobbit-like, fairytale corner of an other-world outdoor garden in the dimming light.

Glass garden sculptures create aboveground sea life with scattered beach buoys. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

It’s art that suspends layers of light, colour and myriad shapes in familiar and dream-like imagination.

Surreal fairy-tale corner of old growth fallen tree trunk, glass art and coastal plants. Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle 2018. Photo by J.Chong

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Pit says:

    Isn’t it absolutely fantastic what you can do with glass?!

    Like

    1. Jean says:

      And alot of careful planning with glass artwork.

      Like

  2. pmathews13 says:

    Chihuly’s work is amazing but doesn’t usually appeal to me. Your photos of its abundance in this place shows the wonder. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Jean says:

      His work does require some suspension of usual shapes and perspectives. 🙂

      Like

  3. Spectacular! We had a Chihuly exhibit here a few years ago and the Phipps Conservatory purchased several of the pieces for their permanent exhibit and planted brilliantly around them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Fancy seeing you here again. Wonderful and I hope you are well. Chihuly can be a great puzzle to some folks who want to look at “realistic” /representational art. Like you, I enjoyed the exhibit. And yes of course, your blog includes art in gardens. 🙂

      Like

  4. WE just left the gardens, super awesome place.

    Like

    1. Jean says:

      A lot hidden behind that urban wall in downtown Seattle. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic photos, Jean– thanks for the tour! That place should hire you as their publicist. Now if they’d only put in a lighted bike path… 🚴😊

    Like

    1. Jean says:

      Wouldn’t that be great —all that lit art work along a pathway. I’m certain a place in the world has a done it for a short distance somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Mark Armstrong Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s