Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Desert Botanical Garden: Chihuly, Part 2

Next on our tour is the exhibit called "Red Reeds". I love the juxtaposition of Chihuly's bright red glass spears against Mother Nature's green cactus spears.

According to the artist, he sometimes calls them reeds and sometimes spears. He feels that they can go anywhere, especially outside and considers them very dramatic. I would not argue that point.

The reeds were blown by team Chihuly at the Nuutäjarvi Glass Factory in Nuutäjarvi, Finland because of the excellent clarity of glass there and to take advantage of their annealing ovens, the largest in the world. The annealing process facilitates the curing of these large-scaled elements, which are as much as 10 feet in height. Also, the red glass in Finland has a particularly brilliant quality, due to the ruby red pigment and the added chemical element neodymium.

I found an interesting tidbit online — "The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts board of trustees has voted to acquire the work Red Reeds, by Dale Chihuly which was created for the Anne Cobb Gottwald reflecting pool outside the Best Café. The internationally renowned artist created over 100 red glass reeds as part of the Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, October 20, 2012- February 10, 2013. Since that time Red Reeds has been on loan to VMFA."

Chihuly has collaborated with a number of gardens and museums to exhibit his glass artistry. If such an exhibit comes to your town, do visit and enjoy — you will not be disappointed.

This piece is called "Erbium Pink Fiori". I love the mixture of the bluish purple reeds and the pink see-though glass.

When you get closer, you can clearly see the detail of the lines in the glass and the translucent blue tips atop the opaque blue-purple shafts.

At twilight, the piece really comes alive.

Nearby was the "White Tower". The artist said that this piece came to him when he wondered what one of his chandeliers might look like upside down.

The piece exhibits an interesting mixture of colors, textures, opacity and shapes.

Here the tower is captured at dusk which seems to really fulfill Chihuly's artistic statement — "I want my work to appear like it came from nature, so that if someone found it on a beach or in the forest, they might think it belonged there."

And, in my opinion, it belongs there — just as Chihuly intended.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com