SA icons announce partnership for Chihuly’s glass-art debut in Adelaide Botanic Garden

Two of South Australia’s iconic cultural and arts institutions have partnered ahead of the Australian premiere of the highly anticipated international glass-art event, Chihuly in the Botanic Garden.

Image: Adelaide Botanic Garden’s iconic Palm House

Two of South Australia’s renowned cultural and arts institutions, JamFactory and Adelaide Botanic Garden, are teaming up ahead of the Australian premiere of the highly anticipated international glass-art event, Chihuly in the Botanic Garden.

Scheduled to debut at the Adelaide Botanic Garden in September 2024, this exclusive exhibition marks glass artist Dale Chihuly’s first outdoor showcase in the Southern Hemisphere.

Image: Bailey Donovan, Bart Rentmeester, Tala Kaalim, Noah Hartley and Ayano Yoshizumi in JamFactory’s Glass Studio. Photo Daniel Marks.

Adelaide’s esteemed botanical oasis, coupled with the craft and design prowess of JamFactory, has birthed a partnership aimed at nurturing the local glass-art talent.

Throughout the seven-month event, a series of activations in the Botanic Garden will allow visitors to experience the art outside of usual opening hours, and in a variety of exciting ways.

In this collaborative venture, JamFactory (which is a not-for-profit arts organisation which includes training facilities, galleries and shops) will also orchestrate a series of public events, featuring live glass-blowing demonstrations, talks, and activations at its Morphett Street location.

Additionally, it will curate, construct, and manage a dedicated retail space within the Botanic Garden. This space will not only showcase the works of local artists but also offer limited edition Chihuly glass artworks and prints, seldom seen in Australia.

Renowned Seattle-based artist Dale Chihuly, celebrated as the preeminent figure in contemporary glass art, has handpicked the picturesque Adelaide Botanic Garden as the backdrop for his inaugural Southern Hemisphere Garden Cycle exhibition.

“South Australians love to watch the seasons pass in the botanical gardens. The exhibition will show through Spring, Summer and Autumn allowing visitors to experience the sculptures against the backdrop of blossom, sunshine and the changing autumn leaves,” Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison, said when the event was announced last year.

“The timing of this Australian first exclusive exhibition in our very own Adelaide Botanic Garden will cross over three school holiday periods as well as several other major events that our city is well known for, giving visitors a reason to stay in Adelaide a little longer and immerse themselves in art and nature.”

Dale Chihuly
Sapphire Star (detail), 2010
The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, installed 2017
© 2010 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.
Photographer: Scott Mitchell Leen

Running from September 27, 2024, to April 29, 2025, visitors can expect to be mesmerised by Chihuly’s ingenuity, showcased through a curated selection of large-scale glass installations and sculptures nestled amidst the Garden’s lush greenery.

Michael Harvey, Director of Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, lauds the collaboration between these South Australian institutions as a “natural fit.”

He emphasises the significance of tapping into JamFactory’s expertise to enhance the presentation of the Chihuly experience while forging vital local connections within the artistic community.

“This collaboration not only showcases the exceptional talent within the local artistic community but also highlights the global influence and interconnectedness of artists,” Harvey says.

Dale Chihuly
Float Boat (detail), 2014
The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, installed 2017
© 2014 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.
Photographer:   Scott Mitchell Leen

JamFactory CEO Brian Parkes hails the partnership as a significant convergence of two South Australian icons. He highlights the profound connection between JamFactory and Chihuly’s legacy, with many of their studio’s glass artists having either studied or taught at the renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, established by Dale Chihuly himself.

“This is a great opportunity for visitors to discover the breadth of glass blowing talent within South Australia inspired by Chihuly, plus we invite visitors to come and view the largest hot glass studio in the Southern Hemisphere right on North Terrace,” Parkes says.

Adding to the anticipation surrounding Chihuly in the Botanic Garden, South Australian glass artist Gabriella Bisetto will present her solo exhibition titled “Gabriella Bisetto: first breath, last breath, everything in between.”

Exploring themes of ageing, disease, and transience through glass practice, Bisetto’s exhibition promises to be a thought-provoking complement to the Chihuly showcase. Bisetto’s affiliation with the Pilchuck Glass School adds another layer of resonance to the exhibition, further cementing the ties between South Australia and Chihuly’s legacy in glass art.

Chihuly’s exhibition promises to transform Adelaide Botanic Garden into an otherworldly landscape of glass art. Visitors will be able to follow an art trail that winds through the garden, creating a seamless fusion of art and nature right on the edge of Adelaide’s CBD.

Chihuly in the Botanic Garden
Where: Adelaide Botanic Garden
When: September 27, 2024, until April 29, 2025
For more information on Chihuly in the Botanic Garden, click here.

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