Sunday, December 27, 2015

Phoenix, Arizona - Desert Botanical Gardens Munro Exhibit

Desert Botanical Gardens currently has several installations of light works by Bruce Munro.  Obviously, these are best seen at night.  We went in late December and the tickets were sold out, so order in advance if you plan to go.  There are also some other installations in the Scottsdale area. See the Scottsdale Desert Radiance for more information about other installations...or wait until I show them here.

Bruce Munro's website:

I photographed his work and not a lot of the desert plants.  Enjoy the lights and colors!

The first installation that we saw was "Beacon". It is a dome. The lights are inside plastic bottles.

 These are "Eden Blooms".  The area had about five or six of these. This series of photographs was taken of a single "bloom" as it changed color.

 "Chindi" is a suspended piece.
 This exhibit is "Fireflies".
Here are two examples of "Field of Light".  30,000 individual spheres of gently blooming light nestled on the hillside of the Garden Butte, cascading down on to the Sonoran Desert Trail Loop [text from].

 During Christmas, the DBG puts luminaries throughout the garden and lights some of the trees.  It is very pretty.
 One of my favorite photos from the night.  I forgot that I was doing a long exposure and picked up the camera and tripod.  Swirly whirling lights!
 "Water Towers", where 58 glowing towers grace the garden. [text from]
 This is my artsy take on the colors.
 It was a fun night. The DBG was filled to the rim with people.  Enjoyed it and would recommend a garden walk while the lights are installed.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Vienna, Austria - Belvedere Palace Gardens

The Belvederegarten extends from the Upper Belvedere Palace, down a gentle slope, to the Lower Belvedere.

 The gardens are done in a formal French style with graveled walks and jeux d'eau.  Jeux d'eau is an umbrella term for the type of water features introduced in mid-16th century Mannerist Italian gardens and include water chains, water stairs, fountains, cascades, jets, pools and canals.  Pumps were invented and the fountains grew bigger and better.  Where can you find these in the US today?  Think of the resorts in Las Vegas with water shows dancing to music and laser lights!

 The bedding had originally been patterned and then grassed over. The patterns are now being restored.

 The center "stairs" are not for people. These are water stairs that come from the upper fountain.
 A zoom view to see the fountain, the Upper Belvedere with the Christmas tree lights seen through the window.
 Details on the nymphs and goddesses playing in the fountains.

 View to the Lower Belvedere.

 Views from the side walkway with different perspectives to give a better idea of the size of the gardens.

 Hedges at the fountain area near the Lower Belvedere.

 Ornate gates along the side of the garden.

The garden side of the Lower Belvedere.

Vienna, Austria - Upper Belvedere Palace

My walk continued up a slight grade as Schwartenbergplatz changed to Prinz Eugen-Strasse. I entered the palace grounds and found my way to the ticket office.  I purchased a ticket for the Upper Belvedere gallery to see the Gustav Klimt works and the Lower Belvedere gallery to see "The Women of Klimt, Schiele, and Kokoschka" exhibit.  Circle to the other side of the larger building (past the not-yet-open Belvedere Christmas Market...did not come back to see it).

 There are large gardens between the Upper and Lower Belvedere buildings.
 The Upper Belvedere Palace was built in the Baroque style and was a summer palace for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Construction was completed in 1723.

 Looking through the fog at the gardens between the Upper and Lower Belvedere.
 And a snowman...This marble sculpture is by Manfred Erjahtz, is named Gefungen in der Gegenwart (Trapped in the Present), and explores a wintery subject: the snowman.  The Belvedere website explains that this represents "not only a particular season but also memories and the complexity of transience." You can also buy cups and saucers for 70 euro with the snowman on it.

In case you were wondering, here is a photo of the cup and saucer for 70 euro.  (80 ish US dollars).  This is not my photo and credit goes to the Belvedere website. I did not buy one.

This is the "Belvedere Christmas Tree 2015".  The name of this is "Under the Weight of Light" by Manfred Erjahtz. It compliments the space in the lobby "High Baroque Sala Terrane".

 I started my tour with an older period and was enjoying myself taking photographs because I did not see a "no photo" sign.  This is the Marble Hall with the ceiling painted by Carlo Carlone.  Carlo was an Italian painter and engraver active in Germany.  He studied in Venice and Rome but when he visited Germany he left works at Ludwigsburg, Passau, Linz, Breslau, Prague and Vienna.

 That photo joy ended when a guard told me that no photos were allowed.  I considered discussing the need for a sign if the rules were such but actually did not know the German words to voice my opinion. And good thing because as soon as I walked back to the lobby I saw the very big and very clear "no Photos please" sign.  How did I miss that?

I was delighted to view the Klimt exhibit.  "The Kiss" was the big named piece.  You couldn't take photos obviously but it was a very good idea to have a separate room where you could "selfie" in front of a large print. (This is not my selfie!!)

 I enjoyed a break from touring with a snack (see my snack here:

and then began my walk from the Upper Belvedere to the Lower Belvedere through the Belvedere Gardens.
Reference for details on the Belvedere:,_Vienna