Gesundheit!

29 01 2012

… Which at least one reader will know literally means something close to “have healthiness” in German, and is offered in North America (potentially accompanied by a tissue) to someone who has just sneezed, as an alternative to the more common elsewhere “bless you”. Probably something to do with the separating of church and state. ;)

And if you can tell our next stop is Tacoma, near Seattle, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

We have friends in Tacoma, Washington. On our first trip to visit them, they were kind enough to take us to the old union railway station, which is an impressive public space. It has its own web site too.

unionstationrotunda.org: Tacoma Union Station

unionstationrotunda.org: Tacoma Union Station

According to the usually reliable Wikipedia, it opened for business in 1911. Now then, if you look closely at the photo above, you’ll notice some organic looking colourful shapes and forms. Hard to tell at this resolution, but they’re actually glass. Some of the other features can be seen in this shot.

unionstationrotunda.org: Tacoma Union Station

unionstationrotunda.org: Tacoma Union Station

Needless to say, they catch the eye. There are several other items too, on the outside of the building in glass cases. Some half-hearted research (it’s on placards everywhere!) educated me as to the creator of such surreal, organic, mesmerising beauty. It’s one Dale Chihuly. <Gesundheit!>

A local boy, born right there in Tacoma, he studied glass art in Venice, which James Bond fans will know has a bit of a reputation for such things. Probably why most consider him “quite good really”, or at the very least “not half bad”. A bit accident prone, losing his eye in a car accident and later dislocating a shoulder, he now has others implement his designs, which are all hand-blown in glass. With a bit of a thing for rotundas it seems, the Vic’n’Bert rotunda in London (still not in Ontario) also has one of his pieces:

Wikipedia: Victoria & Albert museum

Wikipedia: Victoria & Albert museum

There has been one of his installations right here in Vancouver since 1998, at 1200 Georgia. Actually on Bute. It’s visible from the road, and worth a better photo than the only one I could find.

virtualtourist.com: "Dale Chihuly Art"

virtualtourist.com: "Dale Chihuly Art"

He also does smaller pieces which are more readily accessible for the general populace.

Dale Chihuly: Cadmium Yellow Seaform set with Red Lip Wraps

Dale Chihuly: Cadmium Yellow Seaform set with Red Lip Wraps

Quite distinctive, and so rich and vibrant. More than once I would have sworn they moved.

Cornets, 2007 Missouri Botanical Garden

Cornets, 2007 Missouri Botanical Garden








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