The International Year of Glass Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022
By Gabrielle Argent, Artist/Curator
Unless you have visited RHS Chelsea Flower Show, you may not understand the appeal. Simply, it's an international shopfront where 168,000 affluent visitors come to discover beautiful living spaces, sculptures and gardens.
As an aspiring glass sculptor with bucket list goals, Chelsea is top of my list. Extraordinary things happen when you take a leap of faith and my experience of this event has been 100% positive. I met the right people to collaborate with and had their support from day one.
When I put out the call through CGS in February, I could not have known that life-long friends would be made. I described an ambitious plan of showcasing glass sculptures and these very brave artists stepped forward.
Thanks to Emma Butler-Cole Aiken, Ian Godfrey/Gail Boothman, Anthony McCabe, Lisa Pettibone and Layne Rowe for allowing me to curate their work.
As soon as the artists were on board my marketing brain kicked into gear. The press releases were written, the logo was created and the website built. Press packs were sent to the RHS well in advance. The RHS rules, regulations, health & safety and insurance requirements are onerous and challenging. It took two months to get the paperwork needed by the RHS in place, leaving little time to make glass for the event.
A comment from the show manager the day before judging made up for the anxious months of preparation, when she said the stand was ‘outstanding’. That was the moment I began to enjoy the experience. An article about us in the Daily Telegraph was a bonus and the private view by the Queen and members of the Royal Family was a highlight.