Longwood gardens announces Light! exhibition

Longwood Gardens, one of the world’s great display gardens, has commissioned UK light artist Bruce Munro to present a debut, garden-wide exhibition, LIGHT!, in the summer of 2012. This is Munro’s first garden installation in the US and will showcase never-before-seen views of Longwood at night.

LIGHT! will feature seven large-scale outdoor installations, two installations within Longwood’s grand 4-acre Conservatory, and a small collection of illuminated sculptures in Longwood’s historic Music Room

“Longwood Gardens is thrilled to host Bruce Munro’s first large-scale exhibition in the U.S.,” said Paul Redman, Director. “His imaginative works will enchant and amaze our guests with their beauty and ingenuity,” said Redman, “but also inspire them to see and experience gardens in a whole new way.”  “What also appealed to us about Bruce’s work is its focus on low-energy output and a sensitivity to the landscape,” said Redman. “Bruce shares Longwood’s commitment to sustainable practices.”

Installation highlights include Forest of Light, which invites guests to wander through a serene forest of 20,000 illuminated stems reminiscent of blooming flowers. Longwood’s undulating Meadow plays host to the Water Towers, a collection of 69 symmetric towers that create a glowing maze of light that changes hues to music. In Waterlilies in Bloom, Munro pays homage to Longwood’s iconic waterlily platters and sets his shimmering interpretations to float on the Large Lake. Nearby, the 6,000 stem installation Field of Light beckons visitors toward its enchanting glow.  Arrow Spring artfully mixes horticultural splendor and bees wax candles to create a meandering hillside stream.

Inside the Conservatory, the Orangery is adorned with six grand Snowball Chandeliers suspended from the towering ceiling. Each chandelier is more than nine feet in diameter and formed by 127 perfectly uniform glass balls. Light Shower rains more than 1,600 drops of twinkling lights over the flooded Fern Floor, creating a magical reflection that intensifies the luminous shower. Finally, the Music Room will feature a small collection of illuminated sculptures and models created by Munro.

“The unmatched beauty of Longwood Gardens inspired me in so many ways,” said Munro. “Creating works that speak to the landscape but also enhance the natural beauty of the Gardens was an exciting artistic challenge,” said Munro. “I hope that guests will see in these works the beauty of melding light and the landscape to become one.”

This will be Munro’s first opportunity to create installation art works in the USA. His previous work in the US involved participating in Contemplating The Void, a group show at the Guggenheim Museum, and he will be part of a 2012 show about contemporary glass design at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery. To date, his best-known installations are CD Sea at Long Knoll and Field of Light at The Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. His work has also been shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and Salisbury Cathedral.

Light! opens June 9, 2012 and will run through September 1.


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