Culture and art icons join forces in lead-up to Chihuly event

Two of South Australia’s iconic cultural and arts institutions are joining forces in the lead-up to the Australian premiere of the exclusive international glass-art event, Chihuly in the Botanic Garden, opening at Adelaide Botanic Garden in September 2024.

Adelaide’s world class Botanic Garden and craft and design icon, JamFactory, have announced a partnership to foster the growth of local glass-art talent.

As part of the collaborative partnership, JamFactory will deliver a series of public events, including live glass-blowing demonstrations, talks and activations at its Morphett Street location.

It will also design, build and manage a dedicated retail space at the Botanic Garden, which will promote the work of local artists alongside limited edition Chihuly glass artworks and prints rarely, if ever, available in Australia.

Dale Chihuly Sapphire Star, 2010 9½ x 9½ x 9½’ The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, installed 2017 © 2010 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved. Photographer: Scott Mitchell Leen

Seattle-based Chihuly, the world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artist, has selected the picturesque Adelaide Botanic Garden as the venue for his inaugural Southern Hemisphere Garden Cycle exhibition from 27 September 2024 to 29 April 2025.

Visitors to the free outdoor daytime experience will be wowed by Chihuly’s genius through a curated selection of large-scale glass installations and sculptures in eye-catching settings throughout the Garden. Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Director Michael Harvey says the collaboration between the SA duo was a “natural fit”.

“By partnering with JamFactory, which is a centre renowned for excellence in glass in a State where glass art is a thriving practice, the Botanic Garden is tapping into expertise that elevates the presentation of the Chihuly experience, as well as bringing it important local connections,” said Michael.

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

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

JamFactory CEO Brian Parkes says it is a significant collaboration of two South Australian icons.

“While JamFactory celebrates numerous local talents, the connection is deepened with many of our studio’s own glass artists having studied and/or taught at the esteemed Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, which was established by Dale Chihuly,” he says.

“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.”

To further boost excitement about Chihuly in the Botanic Garden, prominent South Australian glass artist and lecturer at the University of South Australia’s School of Art, Gabriella Bisetto, will explore how the themes of ageing, disease and transience can be translated through glass practice in her solo exhibition Gabriella Bisetto: first breath, last breath, everything in between.

Bisetto, who has taught workshops at the Pilchuck Glass School, in Seattle, is the selected artist for 2024 in the UniSA MENTOR exhibition series which was launched in 2022 and presented biennially by JamFactory in partnership with the University of South Australia.

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