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REVIEW: Chihuly's Reflections on Nature at Kew Gardens

By Martin Macdonald

Reflections on Nature features exceptional glass pieces – 32 installations – by renowned American glass artist Dale Chihuly (b. 1941, Tacoma, Washington, USA). Covering 50 years of artistic production, Chihuly’s glass sculptures are set against the fascinating backdrop of Kew Gardens, the world’s largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collection.

As beauty can often be mesmeric, it’s good to discover that Reflections on Nature isn’t a purely aesthetic affair. The fact is that remaining aware of one's surroundings makes the exhibition not only bloomin’ beautiful but also thoroughly engaging. Chihuly’s artworks constantly connect with nature, both reflecting and enhancing the landscape.

The icy beauty of Sapphire Star greets visitors entering Kew’s Victoria Gate. Sunshine bounces off the large orb assembled from individually blown forms. The work's blue core and translucent, almost clear tips are set atop a steel plinth. This ‘explosion’ of colour …

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