A few months ago, while at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, I had the pleasure of visiting the Chihuly exhibit. This exhibit will transform you into another artistic realm with its amazing blown glass masterpieces. Here I’d like to share some of my favourite highlights from the show.
Dale Chihuly is an American sculptor who has mastered the beautiful, translucent and transparent qualities of ice, water, glass and neon by creating works of art that transform the viewer into another world. The artist is known for grand architectural installations placed in many public places. He was born in 1941 in Washington State. Chihuly established the glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design and co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in 1971. He’s also been the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees and his works of art are exhibited in 250 museum collections. To find out more about the artist visit his website.
“I WANT PEOPLE TO BE OVERWHELMED WITH LIGHT AND COLOR IN A WAY THAT THEY’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED.”
The ROM Exhibit
Laguna Torcello Instalation
The Laguna Torcello installation is a garden of glass with many shapely creations. The name of the piece refers to one of Venice’s many islands. This exhibit is an ode to Chihly’s favourite city.
Persian Ceiling installation
Chihuly’s inspiration for these pieces was ancient Persian glass and sea forms. For best experience lie down on the provided bean bags so you can immerse yourself in this piece’s full glory. I felt like I was floating underneath colourful jellyfish. It’s a very peaceful and wonderful experience.
The Boat Series: inspired by children
In 1995 while Chihuly was in Finland for an exhibition he noticed young boys filling their rowboats with glass pieces he’d been discarding. This gave him the idea to fill the boats with his glass pieces.
Chihuly embarked on the Fire Orange Baskets series after seeing Native American baskets at a museum in Washington. The baskets were misshapen with age. He then decided to recreate those distortions in glass. The pieces at the ROM were created specially for this exhibition, with baskets that are among the largest Chihuly has ever created.
Sapphire Neon Tumbleweeds
These are large bundles of linear, factory-made tubes that were heated and bent to curvilinear shapes to resemble plant forms and diagrams of atoms. What a spectacular imaginative creation! I was truly mesmerized by these.
Chihuly’s Icicle Chandeliers and Towers sculptures are each made up of hundreds of pieces of blown glass strung together on steel frameworks.
Although we’re all very busy with our lives it’s nonetheless very important to go out and experience creative works of art. They inspire us and open up our minds to other possibilities. So I hope you venture out to see a great show like this and when Chihuly comes to your town I recommend you check it out.
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Have you seen any other great exhibits lately? Tell me what you think of this exhibit and how does it make you feel.
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Your photos are beautiful. Glad to see you enjoyed the exhibit. I wanted to check this out when it was at the ROM but I waited too long.
Hi Monique, glad you liked the pictures. Sorry you missed the show. It was definitely worth seeing. I hope you get to see Chihuly at some point. I’m loving your blog and especially your Muskoka adventure with the sled dogs. Wow, I love huskies. Been thinking about getting one. Hope we can keep in touch via our blogs 🙂
Wow!! Fantastic! I love glass art but this is the first time I’m seeing art like this. Thanks so much for sharing these photos and explaining the design behind the artworks. Chihuly really embodies nature and the imagination in his art. #magical 🙂
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this article and I’m very excited I’ve brought the work of Chihuly to your life. His work is indeed so beautiful and imaginative!
There’s quite a nautical theme to Chihuly’s work it seems… Very interesting art with glass! I’d be interested to see the work in person some day.
You’re quite right. And I hope you’ll get to see it in person one day 🙂
Beautiful and even more interesting pieces! I saw something similar in Burano in Italy!
Oh wow, that’s great Niki.
It’s amazing what beauty can be created with such a rigid material. Glass can be so soft and colourful, very pretty!
Yes, absolutely. It’s amazing what this artist can do with glass. It’s so fragile and hard to work with.
wow! this is amazing , I have never seen anything like this before.. the pictures, the colors brings a lot of positivity.
Oh yes, this art is so imaginative. It’s awesome. Glad you enjoyed it as well.