In 1992, Bruce Munro was journeying to Uluru through the barren red desert of central Australia. Every evening he would pull off the Stewart Highway and spend the night in a campsite. There, meditating quietly before sleep, Munro made on the pages of his ever-present sketchbook the first drawings for a work which has now undergone several fascinating permutations: Field of Light.
Field of Light comes alive at the onset of dusk. Suddenly, when the field grows dark and almost invisible, the stems of light which Munro planted there in thousands burst into bloom. He originally imagined them, during his epic 1992 expedition, flowering in the red desert as if nourished by a miraculous shower of rain.
The idea stubbornly stayed lodged in the artist’s mind over the succeeding years, but he didn’t have the opportunity to make a large version until 2004, following the exhibition of an early version at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Between 2004 and now, Munro has recreated different iterations of the Field of Light in many forms. For each iterations, the piece begins at its original starting point, for the landscape it inhabits defines the work. Each version of the Field of Light is an organic piece that over time has stretched across fields, along city parks and through forested land, in urban squares, on building roofs and over rocky foothills.
At Uluru, pathways will draw you into the installation, which comes to life under a sky brilliant with stars. Wow!
Facts and logistics about Field of Light at Uluru:
The installation took over 2000 hours to design and build in the UK and a further 3900 hours to recreate on site.
6 UK based art technicians, 4 AUS/US based art handlers and up to 15 volunteers were involved in the installation over a period of 5 weeks.
The artwork is made up of 300,000 individual components, with over 380km of optical fibre used in the installation.
The exhibition covers an area of 49,000 square metres.
This is Bruce’s first solar powered installation: 36 portable solar panels are installed to interface with the 144 projectors.
All materials are re-usable and will be recycled for use in other installations.
Qantas is the official airline partner for Field of Light, with Qantas Freight responsible for transporting the 50,000 individually handcrafted delicate ‘light stems’ from London to Uluru.
Another sunrise at Uluru.