Monday, September 7, 2015

Wooden horses

Its hard to believe we've been "home" for 2 weeks already.  Its also hard to believe our summer visit here in Colorado will be over in another 2 weeks.    Time flies when you're having fun - it flies when you're not having fun too, but the former is always our choice!

  We pulled back into our spot at Dakota Ridge on a Monday and the following Saturday Jesse and Erin, Dave and I went to the Denver Botanic Gardens to see The Nature of Horses exhibition by Deborah Butterfield.

We've all been looking forward to this outing but have put it off all summer as other things always seemed to take preference.     Since our time here is rapidly coming to an end we decided to just take the day and enjoy ourselves among the flowers and horses.

The last time we were at the Botanic Gardens a fantastic Chihuly exhibition was integrated into the plantings and water features.    That time a terrific thunder/lightning/hail event shortened our visit and gave us only an hour or so to race through and see the glass sculptures, so this time we were looking forward to actually enjoying the gardens as well.

last summer's Chihuly installation

We were happy to find that there is now a permanent Chihuly glass sculpture in residence.

our happy couple

It was a very hot day so we had a quick lunch at the Offshoots Cafe to fortify ourselves before strolling the sunny Gardens.  

We very much enjoyed the Butterfield Horse Exhibition but I think the gardens themselves were the real star for me.

We first saw a Butterfield Horse sculpture in a museum in either Seattle or San Diego (my brain becomes fuzzy when I try to pin down the exact location) and were fascinated by it.   At first look the life sized beasts appear to be made of pieces of artfully arranged wood.    Given a careful second and third look they still seem to be an assemblage of drift wood.

After viewing a short film about their creator and her creations we learned that they do, indeed, start out their "lives" as wooden horses.    In an amazing fool-the-eye technique these equines are transformed from wood to bronze.    We all felt compelled to look closely, to try to see how it was done.

much discussion on the subject

The real magic is the way she is able to evoke the enormous power and quiet grace of the horse.

As I do this blog, I realize that I have too many pictures of the Gardens for one post.    I'm drawn to the details, above my head and below my feet.    I'll end this post with the horses and show you the rest tomorrow.


  1. What an awesome exhibit. I admire artists. They have such a keen eye for beauty.

  2. I sure would have loved to see the Chihuly exhibit last year! I really enjoyed the gardens in the spring.

  3. Two of my favorite things - Chihuly glass and Butterfield horses. We had one of her exhibits here at the Holter and it was amazing - I saw the glass exhibits in Seattle and am still charmed by them!