Heide Museum of Modern Art presents work from Bruce Munro

Apr 11, 2022
  • Article by Charlotte Huston

Heide Museum of Modern Art will showcase ‘Bruce Munro: From Sunrise Road’ from 25 June to 16 October.

Bruce Munro: From Sunrise Road will be the first exhibition in Australia of the work of internationally celebrated English/Australian lighting artist.

He is best known for his interactive, large-scale light installations inspired by his interest in shared human experience.

English/Australian artist Bruce Munro.

The exhibition combines spectacular indoor and outdoor experimental artworks with intimate story-pieces, revealing the depth of the artist’s practice and the breadth of his sources, from the personal and philosophical to the literary and spiritual.

Heide Museum of Modern Art director Lesley Harding says she is “delighted” to bring the work of Munro to Melbourne for the first time.

“The beauty of the natural world, the complexity of the human condition, and the vastness of the cosmos are all brought to bear in an exhibition that is at once playful, contemplative and thought-provoking, offering an unforgettable experience to engage the senses and enrich the mind,” explains Harding.

Previous work by Munro titled c-scales at Messums Wiltshire Gallery in 2019. Photo: Serena Munro.

Situated across Heide’s main galleries and sculpture park, the exhibition will present more than twenty key indoor works and immersive outdoor light installations designed specifically for the site that will activate Heide’s iconic parklands at night.

Munro’s outdoor installation in the Heide gardens, titled Candent Springs, stems from his celebrated Field of Light at Uluru in Central Australia.

At its heart is the stunning work Time and Again, a convex arrangement of abstracted clock faces, or stainless-steel waterlilies scored with codes and patterns symbolising past, present, future, infinity, and speed of light. In essence, the installation performs as a translation of time into a visual diagram.

Field of Light by Munro for Eden Project in 2008. Photo: Mark Pickthall.

Evoking a time machine, the gleaming dome marks time during the day through the passing of clouds and sky, while at night the lilies shimmer like radial starburst.

The work is surrounded by large clusters of ‘fireflies’, cascading optical fibre forms that visitors can walk through as they come to life at dusk in formations evoking the glittering spray of igniting fireworks or, in the artist’s words, a “virtual fire” to warm the soul.

“I am delighted that Heide is presenting my first Australian museum exhibition. This unique site offers the ideal environment for my work within the gallery and surrounding parklands,” says Munro.

“Light is my medium and the beautiful quality of light is that it captures the ephemeral. This elusive, seemingly no physical quality has a spiritual essence about it and makes it ideal as a medium to express abstract concepts such as emotions and connections and I felt an instant connection to the environs of Heide.”

Time and Place at Heide Museum.

Bruce Munro: From Sunrise Road brings together key works that explore light, and experience as either illumination or reflected wavelengths of colour. Collectively these works form a mediation on light that suggests how, when linked with time, it evokes memory and can capture the past.

Plan your experience by checking out the Heide Museum website.

Lead image of c-scales and Sunrise Road at Messums Wiltshire Gallery. Photography by Steve Russell.

Earlier this year, ADR visited the Heide Museum of Modern Art for a new exhibition celebrating the institution’s 40th anniversary.

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