About Light

We hope our guests this summer will be immersed in, even mesmerized by, the US premiere of Light: Installations by Bruce Munro, our newest exhibition.

You may know us for our grand gardens, magnificently maintained. But did you know that we always strive to create engaging experiences that allow you to peel back the layers of our gardens, seeing them differently each time you visit? Light is that type of experience. Bruce Munro's delicate and artistic works transform our daytime gardens into magical, nighttime discoveries. Much like our masterful gardeners, Munro takes ordinary objects and creates extraordinary displays that are not only beautiful, but sensitive to the landscape–both aesthetically and environmentally.

Our founder, Pierre S. du Pont, saw these gardens as a place of beauty, entertainment, education, and innovation. We continue to embrace those ideas today. Through Light we hope to change the way you see gardens, both by day and by night.

–Paul B. Redman, Director

Artist's Statement

My installations in the landscape at Longwood Gardens are simply sketchbook jottings realized. Creating these pieces allows me to communicate some of my feelings about the importance of cherishing the environment.

Initially I used discarded materials to save on costs. Soon material choices also became the subject matter of the installations. For me, there has to be a reason–however idiosyncratic–for everything I do and these days I am drawn more and more to the idea of creating an experience that is gentle on the landscape. This is not environmental flag-waving. I sometimes feel that art specifically made to last has a gravestone spirit about it, so I try to capture the spirit of life's continual flux: yesterday's rubbish is momentarily morphed into today's art. It reinforces the idea that reality is simply a beautiful improvised dance that lives in the moment.

Being given the opportunity to exhibit my work at Longwood Gardens could be described as something like a dream come true. I remember my first visit very well because although I had done some research before arriving, the actual physical experience of the landscape overwhelmed me. The fabulous detailing of the greenhouses and the scale and diversity of the Gardens are awe inspiring, but what impresses me most of all is its legacy. The spirit of the visionary entrepreneur Pierre S. du Pont pervades Longwood. It is as tangible and alive as the geyser-like son et lumière fountain displays that delight thousands of visitors every year. Longwood is unique in so many ways, but for me what makes its song so special is its ability to keep moving and experimenting, to continually ask new questions of itself.

Ultimately, the ephemeral installations I have created at Longwood are a wonderful opportunity to express the joys the Gardens have inspired in me–and I hope that they will enable visitors to experience anew the wonder of this remarkable natural and cultural treasure.

–Bruce Munro

About the Artist

British light artist Bruce Munro was born in 1959 and completed a B.A. in Fine Arts at Bristol Polytechnic. Shortly thereafter he moved to Sydney, where he learned about design and lighting, inspired by Australia's natural light and landscape. Returning to Southwest England in 1992, he settled with his family in the countryside near Bath and set up a studio.

Although he has been commissioned to design large pieces for corporate clients such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, The Royal Society, Liberty & Co., and Camelot Group at the United Kingdom headquarters, Munro's heart lies in creating large-scale art installations, for which he is gaining an impressive international reputation. His work has been shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum as well as in the windows of the fashionable Harvey Nichols department store in Knightsbridge.

In early 2011, versions of his Light Shower and Water Towers installations were shown in the 13th-century gothic Salisbury Cathedral to much international praise. He was subsequently invited to exhibit at the Biennale Kijkduin in The Hague, opened by HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. He is currently planning an installation of 250,000 light stems in the Northern Territory of Australia near Uluru (Ayers Rock).

Light: Installations by Bruce Munro is the artist's first solo exhibition in the United States. For further information on Bruce Munro's work please visit www.brucemunro.co.uk

Credits

  • Photography by:
  • Hank Davis
  • William Hill
  • Mark Pickthall
  • Corriette Schoenaerts
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