Dezeen Magazine

Field of Light by Bruce Munro 2

Lighting designer Bruce Munro has completed his Field of Light installation at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England.


The installation is situated on the grass roof of the visitors' centre, and consists of 6,000 acrylic tubes capped with glass spheres and containing optical fibres.


See our previous story for more information about the installation, which will remain in place until spring 2009.

The following is from Bruce Munro:


Bruce Munro’s Field of Light at the Eden Project

Bruce Munro’s iconic Field of Light sculpture is now installed at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The piece can now be seen on the sloping grass roof of the visitors centre, called the Link building, between the famous Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, and will remain there until Spring 2009.  The sculpture first came to widespread public attention when a scaled-down version was exhibited in the Pirelli Garden at the V&A in 2004.

Bruce Munro and five assistants worked over three days to install Field of Light at the Eden Project. It is made of 6,000 acrylic stems, through which fibre optic cables run, each crowned with a clear glass sphere. There are 11 external projectors; the stems themselves hold no electric power at all.  The installation covers an area of 60 x 20 meters, using 24, 000 meters of fibre optic cable. It’s best viewed after dark.

“I think Field of Light looks fantastic at the Eden Project” said Munro “ I’m always slightly nervous before we’ve installed a piece, in case somehow it doesn’t work in the location. But I’m really happy at how it’s worked out.”

Munro was inspired to make Field of Light during a trip through the Australian red desert 15 years ago. Driving along the Stewart Highway he would stop every night at roadside campsites, which are often in stark contrast to the barren desert that surrounds them: sprinkler-fed oases of green, each one displaying a larger than life sculpture of surreal design and proportions- perhaps a giant banana, pineapple or Merino sheep.

Munro was transfixed by the way the red desert was barren until it rained and then, as if from nowhere, dormant seeds would burst into bloom. He made a series of sketches in the notebook carried in his pocket since art college days, and the idea refused to dislodge from his mind.

Field of Light, like a giant surreal camp-side banana, is an alien installation in the midst of nature. And like dry desert seeds lying in wait for the rain, the sculpture’s fibre optic stems lie dormant until darkness falls, and then under a blazing blanket of stars they flower with gentle rhythms of light.  ‘Field of Light’ is about the desert as much as the roadside campsites- and like much of Munro’s work is characterised by an almost mystical passion for nature teamed with a robust sense of humour.

The Eden Project welcomes over a million visitors a year, using exhibits, events, workshops and educational programmes to help people learn how to look after nature in a time of radical change.

The Eden Project mounts regular exhibitions by internationally renowned artists. Field of Light will be in place through the Winter Season when Eden transforms into a winter wonderland- with a Christmas market and ice-skating, curling, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, hot chocolate and choirs.

In the Pipeline from Bruce Munro
A prototype of Bruce Munro’s newest installation, a massive illuminated maze synchronised with choral music called Water Towers, will be exhibited at Rook Lane Arts in Frome in March 2009. Plans are afoot for a full scale Water Tower to be shown at the Sustainable Institute in South Africa. The towers are made from recycled materials lit by innovative hydrogen-cell technology, which power seven-watt LEDs and fibre optics. Munro is building this piece with the help of local communities and schools and hopes it will bring a smile to visitor’s faces.