As we go thicker into the holiday season, there's no better reminder of festivities than the glowing Christmas lights that seem to be everywhere. But one light installation in Bath, England is as much about mimicking the effect of rainfall in a barren desert as it is about holiday cheer. Created by British artist Bruce Munro, the "Field of Light" installation now illuminates the gardens at the Holburne Museum. Its culminative effect is unmistakably magical and has its roots in a natural phenomenon.
A smaller version of "Field of Light" made its debut back in 2004 and again in 2008, in different locations. The design and technical details have now evolved further, with this latest incarnation consisting of 5220 acrylic stems, each topped with a frosted globe that shines with light emitted from a series of projectors, all connected through a snaking network of fiber optic cables.
And though the piece seems like some kind of high-tech, interconnected organism (we thought it looked like an aboveground mycelial network of sorts), Munro's inspiration came from something beautiful that he witnessed out in the parched Australian outback:
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 his student days, and the idea refused to dislodge from his mind.
Field of Light... 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.
To emphasize this ephemeral effect, the installation will come to light only during the twilight hours, from 4 to 7 p.m., and will continue through until January 8, 2012. For more information, visit the Holburne Museum website.