The American artist opened two major exhibitions in Dublin this week – the world premiere of 'Ulysses Cylinders' inspired by Joyce's iconic novel at Dublin Castle's Coach House, while 15 key pieces from his career were also put on display in the Solomon Gallery.
'Ulysses Cylinders' was intended to premiere in Ireland back in the 1970s but was cancelled after Chihuly was involved in a horrific car crash en route to Ireland, permanently losing the sight in his left eye.
Speaking at the exhibition launch last night, Chihuly (72) said it was "the people, the landscape, the colours and the language" that attracted him to Ireland.
"I spent a good deal of time on the west coast when I was younger," he said. "I connect with the soil. I wanted to reference and honour the rich archaeological tradition of Ireland and wrapped the cylinders in gold."
"It's a homecoming of sorts," exhibition director Paula Stokes explained.
"He's blown glass in Waterford and got engaged here so there's a lot of history. Opening the 'Ulysses Cylinders' during Bloomsday week has been such an amazing experience for him – for us all."