September 17, 2008

In Which I Become a Basket Case

Thank you all so much for your kind comments. It has been great getting your feedback and I love having you along on my tour. And we're walking, we're walking...

Tabac Baskets

Following the color splash that was the Persians room, I turned the corner not knowing what to expect next. Beige was not it. I'm not a big fan of shades of brown and beige, so initially I was a little let down until I read the text on the wall and understood where these were coming from, aesthetically speaking.

These are all inspired by the shape of Native American baskets stacked upon each other for storage, and the way they naturally slump and find a different, but distinguishable, form in that state. There are the very neutral shades of the materials used to make the real baskets, especially as they fade and mellow with age, but on each one is the hint of artistic patterns, in abstract ways, that make the baskets special.

These were displayed in a large room with just four elements: the glass pieces; a huge, wooden 700-year-old table cut in one piece from a single tree; authentic native baskets; and a wall full of Pendleton blankets from Chihuly's personal collection. A good view of the entire room can be seen here.

We came into the room and had to go left or right past the enormous table. To the right were the blankets, to the left were the baskets (both kinds) and the explanatory text; I went left and made my way down, swiveling around and whacking people with my purse as I tried to take it all in while taking pictures.

There were just so many of them, and they each had something to recommend them, that it was hard to not take pictures of every single one. So I tried to focus on the ones that had the most interesting light. It was weird though; it was like there was light everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

This next one blew me away when I took the camera away from my face to see the seconds-long preview. There is no light within the vessel and, to the eye, it doesn't glow like that. I kept looking at it to see how it did that but I still have no idea.

I got to the end of the table and started to make the turn back to the blankets...and that's when my camera battery died. I knew there were still a lot of rooms to go and so much more glass to see, with an unknown amount of battery power on my little camera, so the blankets had to be sacrificed. I couldn't have done any better than this, though, so I feel okay with that call.