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Dale Chihuly: Beyond the Object at the Halcyon Gallery

One evening Cory came home from work talking about an extraordinary exhibition he’d read about on MSNBC showcasing sculptures from a famous American glassblower. Cory hardly ever has anything he just has to see, so when he does, we make sure not to miss it. And that’s how we found ourselves at the Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery less than 24 hours before we would be leaving for Austria. (We hadn’t even started packing yet. Clearly we have our priorities in order.)

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

My mind was blown (pun intended) from the minute we walked in and stood beneath the Persian Pergola Ceiling, a canopy of colorful glass sculptures resembling jellyfish, coral, and seashells. On each side of the pergola, dominating the window space in front of the gallery, are two equally beautiful sculptures, remarkable not only for their size, but their exceptional detail as well.

The exhibition is spread out over three floors, each piece’s placement carefully chosen by Dale Chihuly himself to, as the name of the exhibition suggests, appropriately examine the effect of glass on its environment and vice versa.

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

After exploring the floor we entered on, we headed to the upper floor where three magnificent glass chandeliers hung from the ceiling, their curly tendrils reminding me of the tentacles of an octopus. Slender, reed-like sculptures and colorful paintings line the walls of the space, leaving the center of the room open for visitors to wonder at the intricate designs of the sculptures overhead. The light strikes each piece in just the right places to showcase their graceful beauty.

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

The lower floor features more of Chihuly’s paintings and glass sculptures, ranging in size and design from the massive Amethyst Icicle Tower with sharp, spiky edges to the more delicate elegance of Chihuly’s Baskets. Each piece is so different from the next – it’s hard for a non-artist such as myself to comprehend the same person creating all of this!

Those in London may be familiar with Chihuly’s art without even realizing it. If you’ve ever visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, you’ve no doubt noticed the 30-foot tall glass explosion hanging from the ceiling in the central rotunda – that’s Chihuly’s handiwork. His sculptures are displayed in galleries and museums across the United States and in a few selected countries outside of North America. Involved in an accident that blinded him in his left eye, and then another that rendered him incapable of holding a glass blowing pipe, Dale Chihuly now designs each piece but hires other artists to complete the work under his supervision.

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object At The Halcyon Gallery

Just when we thought our tour of the Halcyon Gallery was complete, an employee we’d been speaking with asked if we’d like to see something special. He took us to a small hallway with a staircase behind a velvet rope. Up the stairs we went, feeling mischievous, like we were doing something we weren’t supposed to. I heard a strange humming sound, and then as we entered a small, dark room I laid eyes on this masterpiece.

I don’t even know what it’s called because it’s not part of the exhibition yet, but it was my absolute favorite piece that we saw at the gallery. Like many of the others throughout the exhibition, this one’s form was primarily made up of intertwining tendrils, but instead of being accentuated by external lights, this one made its own light. The electricity really made this piece come to life. I do hope they’ll find a way to make it a part of the regular gallery – it’s truly a sight to see.

Entrance into Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object is free. (Good thing, seeing as both Cory and I accidentally left our wallets at home the day we went!) Chihuly’s sculptures will be exhibited at the Halcyon Gallery until 5 April 2014. If you miss this particular exhibition, it’s still worth checking out the gallery – they always have something interesting to see. Before Beyond The Object, Bob Dylan’s iron sculptures were displayed here. Also, check out the small Halcyon Gallery across the street – there are lots of unique pieces in there right now from artists like Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali!

Halcyon Gallery: Website
Address: 144-146 New Bond Street, London W1S 2PF

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  • Emmymom
    February 27, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Those are amazing!! The first one looks like the ceiling in the Bellagio. I wonder if the same person did that ceiling.

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 28, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      You’re right – the ceiling at the Bellagio is a Chihuly, too. I’ve only seen pictures, but it looks really cool!

      • Emmymom
        February 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        Cool! i love looking like I know what i am talking about when it comes to art ;) hehe

  • Emma @ AdventuresofaLondonKiwi
    February 26, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    This gallery is one I’ve been meaning to visit forever – the colours, the delicacy – the everything. What a skill!

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 26, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      You should pop over this weekend! By the way, will you be at the afternoon tea at the Drawing Room on Monday? I’m hoping I’ll see you there!

      • Emma @ AdventuresofaLondonKiwi
        February 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        Sadly I can’t :( we’re going on the 8th though, privately. It’s a lovely place – make sure you wander downstairs into the bar as well!

  • Jo
    February 24, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Oh wow they are amazing!

  • Annie Montgomery
    February 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    its all so beautiful. i’ve seen his works at the arboretum in dallas – it was stunning to go at night and see them lit up and reflecting over the water!

  • Robert Wareham
    February 22, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Wow! I’d never even heard about this exhibition, but it looks fantastic. I’ll definitely have to drop by sometime this week. Particularly since it’s free and not too far from my university, I really have no excuses not to. Thanks for bringing this to my attention :)

  • Quyen Nguyen
    February 22, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    His work is so amazing and magical. I love how the light shines through it!

  • Katrin
    February 21, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Oh wow, what a great exhibition! I love your priorities! Thanks for sharing!

  • Abby Rockwood
    February 22, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    Beautiful art! I would love to own a piece, although I have a feeling it is not in my price range haha

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 22, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      They aren’t in most people’s price range! I think the cheapest piece I saw was £59,000. Most were well into the £100,000 – £200,000 range and higher! Good thing it’s free to see them because not many of us can actually buy one!

  • Sammy @ Days Like This
    February 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    These are so amazing! Can’t wait for your Austria posts :)

  • Rebecca
    February 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    How gorgeous and beautiful! What amazing art, the colors and shapes are fantastic! You were so lucky to be able to see this in person!

  • rorybore
    February 21, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    his work is just breathtaking! Love it — oh my gosh – that ceiling! It must be something to stand under such beauty.

  • Jenn
    February 21, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    I’m not an art person but this is neat! I watched a glass blowing demonstration at the renaissance faire and it’s definitely neat to watch!

  • Alyx
    February 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    That is seriously awesome! I don’t blame Cory for having to see this exhibit one bit! Good choice!

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
    February 21, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Wow! Those are amazing!!
    I’m anxious to hear how the skiing has gone! =)

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 22, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      Well, we made it back alive and with no broken bones, so I’d say it was a success! :o) I was FAR from good at it, but it was pretty fun! The Alps were gorgeous!!

  • stephanie
    February 21, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    That is incredible! I know I told you on IG but I’ve been enchanted with Chihulys work since high school. I saw a documentary on him and was captivated. I think I own two books of his work– but have never seen one in person :-( It is on my life to do list.

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 22, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      You have got to find a museum or gallery near you where his art is displayed, especially since you’ve been a fan for so long! It’s so beautiful to see in person! If you’re ever in Vegas, the Bellagio has a ceiling similar to the one I stood under here!

  • Dannielle @ Chicadeedee
    February 21, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    how pretty! I love glass blown art, theres a glass museum near where I’m from and we got to blow our own pumpkins haha. When I get my own house I’m totally having one of those giant bowls

    • Sarah Shumate
      February 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

      That’s pretty neat! I’d love to make my own blown glass art!

      Unless you’ve got £100,000, you may want to choose a piece of art for your house by another artist. Chihuly’s pieces aren’t exactly cheap. ;o)