Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Kew Gardens/Water Taxi

Warning: If you are looking for lovely garden photos, you may be disappointed, as much of the Gardens was well past peak.

Having said that, they had installed an exhibit of glassworks by Dale Chihuly, the premier glassblowing artist in the US. To me, this was a stroke of genius, as it would draw visitors at a time when the flowers had long since deserted, and visitors usually become scarce. It doesn’t hurt that I am fascinated by glassblowing, and have it on my list of things to try when I retire. I have one showpiece glass vase created by Michael Nourot, a marvelous glassblower who studied with Chihuly when he first started out.

I was charmed and fascinated by Chihuly's works, although I did not necessarily care for all of them. My favorites were the golden/reddish pieces and the “macchia”, which were gorgeous freeform bowls. The years and amount of work that had to have gone into the creation of this exhibit is truly astounding. I hope you enjoy my photos of this lovely exhibit and the surrounding gardens.

Chihuly Palm House Pond UP

The main pond with "walla wallas", the floating merengue-like pieces, and the boat in the background. That was inspired by a glassblower in Norway who tossed small pieces in a river and children on skiffs collected them.

Chihuly Persian Chandelier UP

This is a chandelier, made up of "persians", wavy-edged plate/bowl forms.

Chihuly mylars UP

This looked for the world like a cluster of mylar balloons, even in person!

Cannas UP

Okay, here's a flower from a beautiful bed. Lovely colored canna lily.

Japanese house UP

This is a small building in the lovely Japanese garden. It had a beautiful raked stone garden in front of it with "waterfalls" and bridges.

Chihuly Macchia UP

One of my favorites, the "macchia", in the Temperate House.

Chihuly Macchia close UP

I could have spent all day getting different angles and views...

Chihuly macchia favorite UP

My favorite piece of all. I was sorely tempted to stuff this one on my backpack...

Chihuly stream persians UP

This installation had it all: sight, aound and life. At the top is a koi pond with really big koi - about 2 feet long each! It gently gurgled as the water cascaded towards you...

Chihuly Sun UP

This is "Sun", the largest and most elaborate installation, made up of hundreds and hundreds of individual pieces. Stunning.

Chihuly sun close UP

Just one very small section of the sun, yet look how much there is in it!

On to the water taxi ride back to Westmister. The day was gorgeous and we enjoyed the hour long saunter down the Thames. This afforded the best views of all the usual photo spots that are on the river. I was sorry it didn't go further!

Thames church UP

This lovely little church, right on the river, is apparently very popular for weddings.

hanging boat UP

The Thames, being a tidal river, offers some interesting views at low tide. This was my favorite.

Roof beauty fixed UP

Sorry, but I don't remember whose roof this is! I think it's on the Houses of Parliament, but not sure.

Parliament UP

Houses of Parliament

Big Ben UP

St. Stephen's tower clockface.

London Eye UP

The London Eye (best view, bar none!)


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