Chihuly Nights

15 August - 26 October, Thursdays – Saturdays, 7.30 - 10.30pm

Release date: 27 June 2019

  • Exclusive events offer rare experience of Kew Gardens at sundown, complemented by Chihuly’s illuminated artworks 
  • Over 33 nights, visitors can experience the exquisite artworks set against the backdrop of one of London’s few UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Specially curated soundtrack responds to artworks, including improvised live performances from internationally acclaimed musicians
  • Ice cream and prosecco bars at hand on summer evenings for all to enjoy

From this August, Kew Gardens will offer visitors an opportunity to see Chihuly’s artwork in an entirely different light, through an exclusive after-dark experience with fabulous food, drink, and music. Throughout the evening, visitors can take in some of Kew’s most stunning settings, among which the illuminated sculptures will be framed by the sun as it makes its descent.

Visitors can enjoy the Gardens’ late-summer horticultural highlights as daylight fades. As the sun goes down, the lights come up, and if timed just right, visitors can watch the sun set over Kew’s iconic landscape and see Chihuly’s artwork begin to glow under the evening sky: a truly Instagrammable moment. The resplendent Temperate House and Waterlily House will form atmospheric indoor settings, and the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art will be open for visitors to explore artwork from Chihuly’s 50-year career.

Visitors’ journey through the exhibition will be accompanied by beautifully uplifting music (commissioned by Guest Artists) based on a composition by the acclaimed American composer, Nico Muhly. The music features wind instruments and the human voice to reflect Chihuly’s use of breath in creating his artworks, and the glass used in many of Kew’s own iconic structures. Other composers and live musicians will respond to Muhly’s music to create their own original and ever-changing soundscapes inside the reverberating Temperate House, and at the recently opened Pavilion Bar and Grill. 

Featured artists include the UK's only glass harmonica player, Alasdair Malloy, and organist James McVinnie, both of whom have performed at celebrations including the BBC Proms. Some of the live musicians will also offer Chihuly Nights visitors the opportunity to add their own sounds to the composition, making for a truly immersive experience. 

Kew’s seasonal menus will be on offer at Victoria Plaza Café and at The Pavilion Bar and Grill, and ice cream and prosecco bars will be also available over summer for all to enjoy as dusk falls at the Temperate House.

Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said:

“We’re really excited to present this spectacular series of events, which will let visitors experience Chihuly’s ‘Reflections on Nature’, and Kew Gardens, in a completely different light. I can’t wait to see Temperate House Persians - the artwork suspended from the ceiling of the glasshouse - sparkling in such a magnificent setting. Visitors to Chihuly Nights are in for a truly memorable evening.”

Tickets on sale now at www.kew.org

ENDS

Chihuly Nights admission  

Prices:

Adult: £18

Member Adult: £12

Other ticket types and prices available

Transaction fee applies

Dates & Times:

Opens at 7.30pm, 15 August – 26 October, Thursdays – Saturdays

Last entry 9pm

ENDS

For more information or images, please contact the Kew Press Office at pr@kew.org / 0208 332 5607

Notes to Editors


Image captions

Top left: Dale Chihuly, Summer Sun, 2010, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, installed 2019. Credit RBG Kew.

Top right: Dale Chihuly, Sapphire Star (detail), 2010, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, installed 2019 & Summer Sun (detail). Credit RBG Kew.

All artwork © Chihuly Studio

Bottom left: James McVinnie, featured musician. Credit Guest Artists.

Bottom right: The Pavilion Bar and Grill. Credit RBG Kew.


About Dale Chihuly 

Dale Chihuly is an American artist noted for revolutionizing the studio glass movement and elevating perceptions of the glass medium. Known for ambitious architectural installations in cities, museums, and gardens around the world, Chihuly utilizes a variety of media to realize his creative vision, including glass, paint, charcoal, neon, ice, and Polyvitro. Chihuly’s work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Corning Museum of Glass. Major exhibitions include Chihuly Over Venice (1995-96), Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem (1999), de Young Museum in San Francisco (2008), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2012), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada (2013), Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada (2016), and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas (2017.) In addition, Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition located at the Seattle Center, opened in 2012. For more information, visit chihuly.com, Facebook.com/chihuly and @ChihulyStudio.

About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international and a top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden, attract over 2.3 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrates its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Kew receives approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.

About Guest Artists

Established in 1990, Guest Artists is well-known throughout the UK and European events industry as a supplier of first-class bespoke musical performances. They particularly specialise in classical music and combining art and music, and in addition to their own projects, also regularly work on private events with some of the UK’s most exclusive party planners and event organisers. David Guest is the Creative Director of Guest Artists. A Cambridge University graduate with particular expertise in vocal and choral music, David originally trained as a singer, and performed with internationally-renowned ensembles including Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Les Arts Florissants and The Academy of Ancient Music, before founding Guest Artists.

About DS Automobiles

Support for Chihuly at Kew comes from DS Automobiles, an avant-garde, quickly-emerging, premium car brand with a new, second-generation range that is offered with every model being available as a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) or PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid petrol-Electric Vehicle). These low/zero emissions vehicles, build on the low emission’s reputation of its parent Company Groupe PSA, manufactures its products in solar powered and eco facilities fully respecting many other environmental aspects. Key aspects of DS Automobiles include it being charismatic in design, incorporating French luxury know-how and advanced technology, the key among which are its LED headlamps. Support for the exhibition aims to bring awareness to the credible alternative premium DS products and its appealing attention-to-detail features, which is a similar fit to its partners in this initiative. Driven by the avant-garde spirit and backed by an exceptional heritage of the 1955 DS, DS Automobiles, launched in 2015, aims to embody French luxury savoir-faire in the automotive industry. DS Automobiles is PSA Group's Premium brand. Designed for customers seeking personal expression and eager for the latest technologies, the second-generation DS models combine refinement and advanced technology. With the SUVs DS 7 CROSSBACK and DS 3 CROSSBACK, the DS brand is launching a range of six worldwide vehicles, all offered in electrified versions under the E-TENSE signature. For its demanding customers, DS Automobiles has created ‘ONLY YOU, the DS experience’, its exclusive service program for a unique brand experience. Present in 32 countries, the DS brand has created and is developing an exclusive distribution network that includes 400 DS STORES and DS SALONS throughout the world in early 2019.