The world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artist, Seattle-based Dale Chihuly, has chosen the stunning Adelaide Botanic Garden for the first major outdoor exhibition of his work in Australia
and the wider southern hemisphere. Chihuly will present a curated selection of large-scale installations and sculptures in this Australian-exclusive exhibition from September 27, 2024, to
April 29, 2025.
Known for pushing the limits of the glass material and elevating the medium from craft to fine art, Chihuly started placing installations in conservatories and gardens in 2001, beginning what has
become known as his “Garden Cycle”. With this new exhibition, Adelaide will become only the third city outside the USA to host a “Garden Cycle” exhibition, following Kew Gardens in London
and Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay.
Chihuly’s work was last seen in Adelaide in 2000 at the JamFactory.
“I have sought an opportunity to return to Adelaide since 2000 when I first presented work at the JamFactory,” said Chihuly. “Adelaide Botanic Garden offers so many rich colours and textures – the ideal environment for the placement of my work, and I look forward to sharing this new exhibition with the Adelaide and South Australian community.”
South Australian Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison said, “This is a coup for South Australia and the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, and the project will act as an important driver of national
and international cultural tourism to our state and showcase our Botanic Gardens to new and returning visitors South Australian’s love to watch the seasons pass in the botanic 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.
From the play of purple wisteria and pink Lotus flowers to the yellow and red kangaroo paw and brown leaves and soft grey skies of early autumn I am excited for visitors to experience Chihuly’s
incredible glass sculptures again and again.
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.
Adelaide Botanic Garden is an exceptional tourism site. We are so lucky to have an internationally recognised botanic collection and heritage glass house right here in the East End of our city, walking distance from premium shopping and restaurants. This exhibition will invite visitors to explore not just our Garden but our whole city.
The North Terrace Cultural Boulevard connects this exclusive arts event to the world-famous Jam Factory, a centre of excellence for glass art in its own right.”
Acting Premier of South Australia and Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, Dr Susan Close said: “The opportunity to connect to nature is extremely important, especially in urban
centres. For the South Australian Government, the Chihuly exhibition offers an irresistible drawcard to entice more South Australians and tourists into the wonderful environment of Adelaide Botanic Garden.
The South Australian community will reap truly widespread benefits from hosting a free and widely accessible experience such as Chihuly right here in the centre of Adelaide.
Not only will we be introducing the Botanic Garden to new audiences, but we’ll also be bringing people outdoors to enjoy a genuinely uplifting experience – that’s a health and well-being boost on
top of the extremely positive injection into our tourism sector and local economy.”
Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Director Michael Harvey said he was elated that Adelaide has succeeded in securing a Chihuly exhibition, “I am thrilled that Adelaide had succeeded in securing Chihuly’s Gardens Cycle exhibition.”
“It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience an extensive collection of Chihuly’s monumental works in the beautiful setting of a botanic garden.”
“Over the seven months we are hosting Chihuly’s masterpieces we look forward to welcoming both garden lovers and art enthusiasts, and visitors of all ages who appreciate a visually stunning
experience that will guarantee to surprise and delight.” Mr Harvey said.
“Chihuly’s exquisite and dazzling artworks are often described as celebrations of what is found in nature. As a biodiversity hotspot in South Australia, with more than 1,000 plant species from
Australia and around the world, Adelaide Botanic Garden is an ideal setting for Dale Chihuly’s work.”
Over the exhibition season, entry to Adelaide Botanic Garden will continue to be free to all visitors during the day.
The specially curated collection of Chihuly’s major works will form an art trail through Adelaide Botanic Garden, which is located on the edge of the Adelaide CBD.
“As the project develops in partnership with the Chihuly Studio, we will also be working with local organisations to create additional ways for visitors to experience the work. Adelaide Botanic Garden has a history of working with and exhibiting the works of contemporary visual artists inspired by our magnificent gardens and buildings; however, the scale and ambition of this dramatic collection will elevate our art programming to an entirely new level,” Mr Harvey said.
Mr Harvey said “We are incredibly grateful for the support of the South Australian Government for recognising the cultural and economic potential of the project and in enabling us to bring this
collection to Adelaide.”
Further details of the exhibition, as well as special night events, additional exhibits, tours, and cultural, artistic and educational partnerships, will be announced in coming months.
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