Bruce Munro’s first solo show in the USA is big. 23 acres big to be exact. The Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania asked him to set op this installation that can be seen throughout the summer until September 29th. It consists of six large scale outdoor installations, two installations in the Grand Conservatory and several illuminated sculptures inside the building. Bruce Munro connection to light has been around since a young age, and in his twenties he realised light would play a central role for the rest of his life. The illuminated palettes are created by Bruce and his team themselves, trying to create the right atmosphere by adjusting the saturation levels and tones until it’s just right. With the field of light for example they try to create the illuminated equivalent of local hues. But Bruces work is more about the light than the colors. He doesn’t put his attention on the different colors of light, but focusses on light as a whole. (photo credits: Mark Pickthall, Corriete Schoenaerts, Bill Hill)
The Field of Light consists of 7.000 led-light stems spread out along the lake, giving an enchanting effect. It was inspired by a trip to the Red Desert in Australia, shortly after rain fall. The rain had transformed the desert into an Eden-like garden, with dormant seeds having bloomed.
The Water Towers is a huge maze of 69 towers made with water bottles. The main element of the work is that towers change color in unison with music which can be heard as you walk through the maze. This was inspired by a book by Lyall Watson (The Gift of Unknown Things) in which a young girl Tia in Indonesia could hear sound from colors.
In the Conservatory, Bruce Munro has placed six ‘Snowballs’, each over nine feet wide and containing 127 small glass balls. The idea came from the book The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, and once completed the large chandeliers reminded Bruce of the animated version of the book, where snowmen dance under the soft hues of the northern light.