Chihuly’s Persian Ceiling | Look Up!

Chihuly Persian Ceiling With Reflections

Reflections streaking down the walls entice visitors entering Chihuly’s Garden And Glass Museum in Seattle to look up. 

There is a sense of theatre – a disruption and human clustering – as each visitor lingers, their eyes irresistibly drawn up, necks and bodies circling to take in a carnival of colours that seem to be floating overhead; open, organic forms inspired by sea creatures, though none we know of, with bright, rainbow colours, ripples, ridges and stripes.

Chihuly Persian Ceiling

‘In creating the Persian Ceiling I was trying to create something that people had never seen before: so you walk under there and you look up and, all of a sudden, you have to start figuring out what you’re looking at – and what is it? – and how does it make you feel?’

Dale Chihuly

32 thoughts on “Chihuly’s Persian Ceiling | Look Up!

    • susurrus says:

      I’ve heard that coloured glass is sometimes used to stimulate the pineal gland in winter – I can imagine it going into overdrive faced with this.

    • susurrus says:

      There’s a gaiety and a tension too. Some of these pieces look deceptively simple, so it was interesting to hear one of the artists talking about the challenge of working with glass heated so intensely that it wants to spin out and destroy itself.

    • susurrus says:

      It did feel a little like it might tumble down, at first glance, though it’s held securely in place with panes of glass and girders.

  1. Oddment says:

    Thank you for the excellent photos! Looking up, though always good advice, rarely is so astonishing. Didn’t you have a stiff neck for days afterwards?

    • susurrus says:

      I suppose I would have if this was all there was, but the gallery is overflowing with glass treasures and seeing glimpses of it gleaming in the next room through the half-light draws you on. My main interest was really to see the garden but the thing that stays in my memory is the boat. I haven’t posted that one yet.

    • susurrus says:

      I took a peep using google images and I can see why you would be drawn back to revisit. It’s a different method of installation. I like the way some of them seem to spill down like inside out umbrellas – the Bellagio ceiling is so high there was room.

    • susurrus says:

      It’s perhaps an obvious point, but try to visit when the garden is in bloom if you can. I really admired the planting. It’s not natural, yet not unnatural either – like nature heightened.

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