Beyond Gobbledigook

Glass Forest; Glass Forest #3; Glass Forest #1

Posted in Glasswork by Jessica on February 25, 2009

Glass Forest by Dale Chihuly, 2008, Glasswork, RISD Museum

I’ve never seen anyone blow glass the way Dale Chihuly does. As a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, he put his work on exhibition in the RISD Museum last September. All of the works were contained in a dark room and illuminated so as to increase the contrast and show off their bright, glossy colors. The room was filled with beautiful chandeliers, vases, and pots made of glass seashells and spheres, and while all were wonderful to look at I chose the Glass Forest because it is possibly one of the most interesting uses of glass I’ve ever seen.

Glass Forest #3 by Dale Chihuli, 2008, Glasswork, De Young exhibit

I love all of the Glass Forest pieces because the shapes and colors make them seem so fantastic. I feel like I’m in space or on some foreign planet, looking at a forest of colored lights and stars. The smooth, rounded bases are especially interesting because they seem both strange and comforting at the same time. The “trunks” are also appealing in that their thin, curled structure reminds me of glow stick movements in the dark or a photograph taken of moving lights. The atmosphere of the dark room and the mirrored base both reinforce the dark forest concept, and it feels like you could easily get lost in this work of art the way you would amongst real trees.

Glass Forest #1 by Dale Chihuly, 1971, Glasswork, Museum of Contemporary Craft, NY

#1 is especially eerie and alien due to the bluish glow and the orbs floating about that seem as though they have tentacles. Depending on how you look at it, it could either be an underwater scene, a scene from space, or something microscopic. The ambiguity in interpretation is another interesting facet of the Glass Forest series.

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