Artist plans solar "field of light" in Australia's Red Center
July 3, 2012
Installation artist Bruce Munro has come up with an ambitious plan to transform the Australian desert landscape around Uluru (Ayres Rock) into a field of glowing solar flowers. If fulfilled, Munro’s long-held dream would see the installation of over 250,000 solar powered light stems over a one square kilometer (0.4 square mile) area.
“My aim is to make an event shared in every aspect with as many people in Australia as possible,” says Munro. “I endeavor to make my dreams come true and love the idea of sharing and realizing this dream with as many people as possible.”
Munro first came up with the notion of creating an Australian desert field of light back in 1992 when traveling through the Red Center. According to Munro the sacred Aboriginal landscape “seemed to radiate both energy and ideas along with the heat.” Since this original burst of inspiration Munro premiered his first LED light installation at Harvey Nichols, London in 2003/04. His first large-scale project later took place in the ten acre (48,400 square yard) Long Knoll Field in 2004/05, followed by the dazzling field of light at the Eden Project, Cornwall 2008/09.
“I have wanted to bring the Field of Light back to Uluru where it was conceived, ever since it first popped into my head,” says Munro. “The scale would be unprecedented. A quarter of a million stems in a circular format covering an area equivalent to one square kilometer adjacent to Ayers Rock .”
To complete the immense project, Munro would use 3290 kilometers (2045 miles) of fiber, 165 kilometers (103 miles) of recycled acrylic tubing, 250,000 glass spheres and steel ground stakes, plus 500 custom made solar powered illuminators. These illuminators would ensure that the flower-like lights are 100 percent self-sustaining, leaving a minimal carbon footprint as possible.
It will take 1000 man days to construct the solar lights and a further 1850 man days for a team of 41 men to install and dismantle the installation. If Munro is successful in fulfilling this dream, there is no doubt that the outcome will be spectacular installation and a light show not to be missed.
“The Field of Light, like the dormant seed in a dry desert, quietly waits until darkness falls and then under a blazing blanket of southern stars it blooms with gentle rhythms of light,” says Munro.
Munro hopes to install the Field of Light at Uluru from April-October 2013 and is currently seeking fundraising contributions online to help realize the project.
While the result would no doubt be visually stunning, the question is whether or not it would enhance or detract from this already spectacularly beautiful landscape which, as Munro is careful to point out, is also a sacred place for the Anangu people. Inspiration or artistic vandalism? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.