6 Reasons to Not Miss Chihuly Nights at Kew Gardens

kew gardens

For those who love art and nature, you’re in luck when visiting the city and staying at Devonshire Hotel London as there are countless places to experience the two in tandem.

Whether you’re exploring the east, west, north or central, you’ll find something amazing and inspiring to get lost in for the day or night.

Speaking of night, you may have spotted the recent installation taking Kew Gardens by storm.

A special series of late-night viewings at Kew Gardens invites its visitors to experience Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures in a whole new way. Chihuly has always been taken by architecture and the way form communicates with light and space. His installations are designed in conversation with the spaces in which they are sited, mixing harmoniously with interior and exterior spaces, often creating emotional encounters. He is famous for his ambitious architectural installations, inside and out, in historic cities, museums and botanical gardens around the world.

These breathtaking sculptures really do need to be seen to be believed, so we’ve rounded up six reasons why you shouldn’t miss this amazing event. Whether you’re a local or a guest of The Devonshire Hotel London, this is an event not to be missed.

1. The pieces themselves are incredible…

Starting with the most important point, the actual artwork you’ll see really is special. Prepare to be blown away (no pun intended) by the world’s most famous glass trailblazer: Chihuly’s Reflections on Nature is a modern outdoor art gallery like no other. This is an exhibition that will have you captivated from the moment you walk through Victoria Gate, where you are greeted by the spiky, ice-blue dandelion-like Sapphire Star.

This exhibition gives you the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with over 30 of his captivating and colourful pieces throughout the gardens. Kew serves as the ultimate backdrop for the glowing reds, oranges and more hues that have helped make his work so iconic. It’s been dubbed as one of the most Instagrammable experiences in the capital as of late, so don’t forget to get snapping!

2. …and they’ve never been seen in the UK before now!

Uniting colour, light, form, and space to deliver uniquely immersive experiences, Chihuly has developed ambitious architectural artwork installations all over the world. Inspired by a lifelong interest in architecture and gardens, Chihuly creates site-specific sculptures for a broad assortment of settings, and you’ll see just how this works when you experience the pieces here – it looks like they truly were made for Kew Gardens.

Discover pieces that have never graced the United Kingdom before now – among the vivid collection, a number of the pieces are being exhibited here for the first time.

3. There’s even a piece that was specially commissioned for Kew Gardens

It’s extra exciting that this collection does actually include a piece commissioned especially for the Kew Gardens exhibition. The exciting Temperate House Persians is a 10-metre poppy blue sculpture that hangs from the ceiling, with glassy, almost alien-like structures growing and squirming from the beds below.

Chihuly began working in botanic gardens in 2001, with an exhibition at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Since that first show he has mounted botanic garden exhibitions almost annually, though he says the current display at Kew is “one of the biggest shows we’ve ever done — we sent over 11 40ft-long containers”.

Keep this exclusive, special vibe going with a stay at the Devonshire Hotel London to feel like a true London VIP.

4. There’s no better setting for the show than Kew Gardens

The last time the 77-year-old Seattle-based artist presented his work at Kew was back in 2005, in an exhibition entitled Garden Cycle. It quickly became one of the garden’s most popular exhibitions, attended by over 900,000 visitors. So it’s fair to say Chihuly is right at home in this incredible location, and after a few minutes there, you will be too.

If you love both art and nature, you’ll be happy to hear this exhibition offers the chance to appreciate both to its visitors. As you walk through the stunning gardens, you’ll discover the inspirational artworks situated across the natural landscape.

The art sits side-by-side the site’s botanical treasures, from ancient trees to blooming flowers. Your ticket to the exhibition will cover the entrance to the full gardens, so you can saunter around the beautiful sights, sounds and smells at your leisure too. Whether it’s the tropical plants of the Palm House, the majestic trees of the Arboretum or the architectural spectacle of The Hive, there’s loads to see surrounding the art.

5. You’ll be able to experience Kew Gardens in a whole new way

Enjoy the artworks from a completely new perspective at Chihuly Nights. This event provides the chance for visitors to see the artworks illuminated as the sun sets.

Chihuly has always been attracted to the way light passes through glass, so to see the pieces at a different time of day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll never forget.

As well as the amazing art and nature to be seen, there will also be live musicians and food and drink, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from the 15th August to 26th October 2019.

Adult tickets are £18, and Kew members can buy tickets for £12.

If you fancy a tasty meal with a VIP edge, there are loads of great Restaurants Near Paddington Station to enjoy, too, including inside The Devonshire London.

6. There’s something for all family members

Although you may think this is just an experience for the grown-ups of the group, if you’re travelling with little ones in tow, you’ll be pleased to know this is a family-friendly event with lots to keep the kids entertained.

Pick up one of the beautifully illustrated Chihuly Family Trail booklets which will help children and their families engage with the exhibition, sparking their imagination through a mix of exciting games and fun tasks. Families visiting the exhibition can pick up this lovely booklet, which makes a great keepsake to take home, from the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art.

Be sure to bring a torch for all those attending in your group, and be mindful of the weather forecast when you go – it’s an outdoor event that will require quite a bit of walking.

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