Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Serendipity Ripples

Long Island

He hadn't expected poetry. Not from his own heart, hands.

But serendipity brought him to it. Or it to him. Or maybe both to each other. Who knew?

I think of this and I think of how I found Chihuly last week. Glass artist, designer, craftsman. Chihuly doesn't care what people call him; he simply cares that people look...


Finding Chihuly feels like serendipity to me. I don't know why. I found him in a little shop on a rainy day in Sag Harbor. It was the mist and the grey day that drove us there, over ferries, past an island, to that street, that shop. Chihuly himself had set out to be a weaver, but he lost a Fulbright because of a technicality, only to recapture it two years later... this time for glass work instead of weaving. The detour changed his life.

Which is how, I suspect, I found him in Sag Harbor. Or he found me. Who knew? I hadn't expected him just now. But serendipity brought the rain and here he is... and I've been flipping pages, saying "yes" to something about him and his work that I don't yet understand.

Sea at Sunset on Long Island, Chihuly book, photos by L.L. Barkat.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years back a Chihuly exhibit came to our small hamlet. A bright yellow glass chandelier of gargantuan proportions still graces the foyer of our modest art museum. I had the good fortune to be volunteering at the museum that summer when Chihuly himself came to call. A quiet man with extraordinary humility. I studied him as he moved through the galleries and noticed how ordinary his hands seemed. Amazing.

4:54 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Anonymous... oh, oh, oh. I would love to see that. Are you on the East Coast? Maybe someday... And you there when Chihuly came! How delightful. I like how you describe him... it makes sense to me... the ordinary hands, the humble stance... maybe this is partly why his work speaks with such irrepressible joy.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen two Chihuly exhibits, one at an art museum, and one at the botanical gardens in St. Louis. At the botanical gardens, the works were interspersed amongst the flowers and foliage, making the works shine even brighter for me.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thank you for your beautiful comment LL, I have dipped into delight upon discovering your blog. A few posts ago, these words 'Child, do not sleep. Stand. Stand as a bridge. Hold the world together, even if it breaks you' made my tears fall. I have begun to blog at scribery.wordpress.com in order to express those very emotions about the home breaking around me, on a blog that my parents do not know about. Please drop by sometime. Blessings xx

9:32 PM  
Anonymous heather said...

He has some work at the Dallas Museum of Art--it greets you as you walk in. I absolutely love it.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Welcome home, friend! And such a homecoming...

Greeted (or carried back with?) serendipity. How wonderful.

I just love your adventurous spirit. Leaving stars dancing on water and bringing the poetry of a glass weaver.

Seems just right.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Had never heard of Chihuly, so I had to go explore. Amazing!! Thanks, you always expand me.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous cas said...

LL, Of course you know that I discovered Chihuly on a long escape to the Pacific Northwest at the Tacoma Glass Museum, and that photos of his Seaform Pavilion there became the seasonally changing header for my blog, as well as my Wordpress avatar.

What you don't know perhaps is that he is a controversial figure in the world of glass art, for reasons we discussed in your Turning Down Christianity Today post. You can read about that controversy here:


I loved his Seaform Pavilion no matter what and am glad you found him too... and at Sag Harbor! How delightful.


8:53 AM  
Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

I saw some of his work at the Bellagio in Vegas:

11:49 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Wordlily... I would love to see one at a botanical garden!

Amy... how we all have heartache of different kinds. I will come some time and see how you mold it into beauty (for I saw how lovely your other work is!)

Heather... I'm hoping he has something at the Met in New York. I want to see these things not on the page.

Laura... your voice greets, sweetly! :)

Mom2Six... isn't it fun to keep exploring life? Glad to have you with me.

cas... how funny, I didn't even remember your header. But of course, I always loved it! And you... you are my lifeline to the world of controversy. Love it. Now, I think his suit is fascinating. Is he protecting his art? Or trying to monopolize what should be shared? I find myself taking pause...

Marcus... you saw the ceiling I wanted to see! But I don't think I'll ever make it to Vegas. Well, at least I don't have plans to ever go. :)

12:39 PM  
Anonymous cas said...

LL, as I thought about this, I realized his work is appropriate for my header in ways I had not intended. It'll be our little secret. : )

As to being your link to controversy, unintentional as well.

1:52 PM  
Blogger sojourner said...

detours often bring such lovely surprises, yes?

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Ann Kroeker/Not So Fast said...

We have a fantastical Chihuly sculpture spiraling up the center of the Indianapolis Children's Museum. As you walk up or down a ramp, you circle round and round all those colors and shapes.

Then downstairs the kids can play with plastic replicas of his signature shapes, sticking them onto a stand in the order of their choosing. AND, you can lie on a rotating bench and stare up at a ceiling divided into squares that contain random groupings.

And there's a computer game that explains how glass shapes are blown.

You should come.

7:32 PM  

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