They might be herons

(More news for glass penises, but now a matter of interpretation rather than representation.)

Following up on the posting “Through a Glass Penis, Darkly”, which ended with a glass penis-simulacrum by Dale Chihuly. Segue to Chihuly’s “Black and Green Striped Herons with Icicle Clusters” at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in the 2016 installation “Chihuly in the Garden”:

(#1) Glass sculptures among the plants: plants behind, plants in front, plants overhead

(Hat tip to Joelle Stepien Bailard.)

They’re billed as herons and icicles, but almost everybody interprets them also as symbols: the herons as snakes, or (if you’re a plant person) maybe as arums, but in either case also (like herons, snakes, and arums) as phallic symbols; the icicles as spears, or (if you’re a plant person) yuccas or maybe agaves, but in either case also (like icicles, spears, and yuccas) as phallic symbols..

For comparison: a great blue heron (Ardea herodias):

(#2) (On herons as garden figures, in my 10/30/17 posting “Herons in the garden”)

And an Indian cobra (Naja naja):


And two arums: a calla lily ‘Picasso’:


and a wild arum, Arisaema japonica:


Compare all of these to erect or half-erect penises (amply illustrated on AZBogX).

Then the glass icicles. For comparison: a cluster of actual icicles, viewed from above (so, framed as ice stalagmites rather than stalactites):


And a set of spear heads for spearfishing:


And from the plant world, a softleaf yucca:

(#8) In my 9/6/15 posting “Birthday flowers”, a section on yuccas

and an Agave americana:

(#9) In my 6/1/16 posting “From late winter”, a section on agaves

Compare these images to the “Dick Bouquet” collage in this AZBlogX posting. Yes, a bouquet of penises. Quite sweet, actually, but not acceptable on WordPress or Facebook.

Chihuly has mounted exhibitions at botanical gardens and arboretums all over the place over the years, many of them incorporating heron sculptures. in a variety of colors (red and yellow, bright blue, etc.).

Now, glassblowing naturally results in sculptural forms with a “neck”, so that a great many of them inevitably strike people as phallic (well, pretty much any long object can be interpreted that way). And any of his sculptures with snaky bits in it will be so interpreted, no matter what Chihuly’s stated intentions are. So, his remarkable “Sol de Citron”, billed as a sunburst —


— strikes some observers as a huge aggregation of phallic bits.  Me, I think of Medusa. And I wonder if I could re-create it in miniature with bean thread and yellow and green food dye.

One Response to “They might be herons”

  1. Sim Aberson Says:

    Note that the arums include amorphophallus, to close the circle back to penises.

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