Chihuly NOW at Halcyon Gallery

The Halcyon Gallery consistently hosts the most beautiful and magical exhibitions, and its curation team has not failed on delivering with the current display of work by renowned American glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly NOW offers a stunning collection of glassworks. A trip to this exhibition is nothing but sheer beauty and pleasure. Upon entering the gallery, viewers are greeted by magnificent glass sculptures that are hung from the ceiling and along the walls between two huge pillars of the gallery. The sculptures are woven like magic in white, clear, and blue glass, to create giant floral arrangements. There is no denying the pure beauty of the colours, and the intricate details of the sculptures, accompanied by the lights that shine through each piece, including the back-lit paintings that create tinted shadows and lights that dance around the gallery. 

Placed on a podium at the gallery entrance is a glass sculpture that weaves upwards, spiraling round and around. The sculpture is made from clear glass, but gives a flowing, watery appeal. Many sculptures in various colours like this are planted around the gallery and their appearance gives viewers the feeling that they have been spun from enchanted lakes by divine beings and beautifully frozen in time.

Around the gallery are many of Chihuly’s paintings which have glasswork incorporated into them, along with the generous spread of paint. Each painting is mounted on a backlight giving a shimmering effect to the surface, which if viewers watch for long enough, changes colour over time. This is just one of the many ways in which Chihuly is forever challenging the creative process to discover his own new and enchanting ways of expressing the beauty he sees.

In the back room of the gallery, viewers feel like they have been whisked away in a giant wave and sucked down to the ocean floor, as they are surrounded by watery shell and rock shaped sculptures. The sculptures are planted around the entire room, with lights dancing off them, strewing their magnificent colours and beams across the room and over the visitors.

Downstairs, viewers must prepare to have their breath snatched away. The room is dimly lit, and in the middle of the space there is a colossal, silky black lake. The lake, though shallow, appears to have no bottom and should viewers fall in, they would be lost forever in this daunting, yet beautiful, body of water. On top of the water, rest Chihuly’s glass sculptures, resembling marine life and mystical plant life. A huge yellow structure also hovers above the lake, suspended lightly in the air, as though it is floating.

Behind the dreamy lake is a coloured glass walkway. The ceiling is created by a multitude of coloured glass pieces that have been cast into floral shapes and moulded together, to create a magical tunnel for viewers to walk through. The lights cast a rainbow effect over the entire area, enticing viewers to experience this delightful hypnotic utopia that Chihuly has created. Once inside the tunnel, viewers find themselves transported into another realm, with fantastical music playing over in their head and they spin through the tunnel, not wanting to miss any of the magic within. 

Chihuly NOW is from start to finish an incredible and spellbinding exhibition, with every single inch of it more enchanting than the last. Viewers will have a hard time leaving this exhibition, whether they drown in the eerie lake, get lost in an ocean of glass, or disappear within the kaleidoscopic vacuum of the Persian Ceiling.

Chihuly NOW is on at the Halcyon Gallery until 22nd April 2018.  More information may be found here.