I’ve been a fan of Dale Chihuly since I wondered into a fantastic exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery in 2011. And of course, everyone adores his Rotunda Chandelier at the V&A. So I was happy to queue with the hoards of other fans on a sunny Saturday in June to see Reflections on Nature at Kew Gardens.
Photographs can’t really do the works justice; I’d definitely encourage packing a picnic and heading over. The trail takes in the newly renovated Temperate House and spruced up Great Pagoda; and with the summer flowers starting to come through, it’s a good time to visit. I plan to return later in the year too, to see the sculptures illuminated at night.
I love a good “immersive sculptural experience”, me. Doesn’t everyone? So when a trip to visit family in Sheffield last weekend coincided with artist Phlegm’s time-limited installation, I was pleased as punch.
Phlegm is a Welsh-born but Sheffield-based muralist, cartoonist and street artist who first developed his illustrations in self-published comics. As well as being able to spot his creations around the Steel City, you’ve also at various times been able to catch him in Shoreditch. He’s bold and exciting; his work dripping with Tim Burton-esque macabre.
The gigantic creations that formed part of this particular event were littered throughout an abandoned warehouse, not far from Kelham Island. We cannily avoided the two-hour queue by arriving just in time to sneak in with the first tranche of the day. You get about half an hour inside, all-in-all, but need every second of that to explore the various nooks and crannies of the factory (itself an impressively atmospheric wonder, soon to be gutted and turned into flats) and gawp in awe at the huge sculptures.
It was difficult to do the exhibition justice on film, and properly convey the scale, but here are a few snaps of his fabulous work.
I’ve concentrated a lot on nature and the physical world in my themed photo entries – be it flora, fauna, landscape – so I thought I’d branch out this time into the art world…specifically my favourite art-form: sculpture. I’m lucky to have family in Yorkshire and so have been to some amazing exhibitions at the YSP, and I’d recommend travelling to the Peak District in nearby Derbyshire for the annual ‘Beyond Limits’ exhibition at Chatsworth House. Make a weekend of it! There are also photos here from shows at Pashley Manor in Kent; from The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA; and from the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres. Enjoy!
Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil (Jaume Plensa)
Cubo I (Arnaldo Pomodoro)
The Engine of Evolution (Marc Quinn)
Contemporary Terracotta Warriors (Yue Minjun)
Swimming (Ju Ming)
We Stand Together, Blue Dog (George Rodrigue)
Karma: A Tower of Blinded Men Rising into the Sky (Do Ho Suh)
Butterflies (Manolo Valdes)
House of Knowledge (Jaume Plensa)
Exterior of Figueres Theatre-Museum (Salvador Dalí)