Chihuly Nights turns Kew Gardens into a beautiful art gallery.
Much like JMW Turner and his red buoy, Kew Gardens seemed to decide that an already incredible display needed a little something extra this year. The result was the arrival of Chihuly: Reflections on nature, a series of dazzling installations by American artist Dale Chihuly that have been delighting visitors since April. And on August 15th, these brilliant artworks will be illuminated in a stunning after-dark experience called Chihuly Nights.
Dale Chihuly’s elaborate artworks currently fill the gardens, suspended from the roof of the Temperate House, springing up amongst the wildflower meadows, and watching benignly over the lake. The arrival of Chihuly Nights will see them illuminated, bringing out the vibrant colours and mesmerising patterns, and adding a spectacular new angle to your Kew visit. The events run Thursdays to Saturdays, extending until October 26th – which means later sessions will give them a backdrop of autumn colours.
Excitingly, Kew suggest that during the after-hours events, you’ll be able to watch the sunset as the illuminations begin, which is an almost overwhelming feast for the eyes. Mind you, it’ll be a treat for the ears too, as acclaimed composer Nico Muhly has created a lovely accompaniment, using wind instruments and human voices, that’ll be playing as you wander through the exhibition. Live music will also add to the atmosphere, with the UK’s only glass harmonica player amongst those set to perform at Kew.
Chihuly Nights also offer late-night dining options, with the Victoria Plaza Cafe and newly-renovated Pavilion Bar and Grill both open for food. Meanwhile, ice cream and prosecco bars will be stationed around the gardens, provided much-needed sustenance/’gram fodder.
Having seen the artworks during the day, I can promise you they’ll be even more stunning by the time the sun sets and they’re fully illuminated. Summer may be beginning to wind down (sadly), but this is one treat you’ve got time to enjoy – make the most of it!
Chihuly Nights runs from August 15th – October 26th, on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 7:30-10:30pm. Find out more and book your tickets here.
Also published on Medium.