Field of Light, Uluru
Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku
This is something for every Australian’s Bucket List (if not everyone of the planet!). The Field Of Light art installation at Uluru by the incredible, internationally acclaimed, visionary, outdoor light installation artist, Bruce Munro was installed in early 2016 and was meant to close in April 2017. Great news is after a sell-out success last year, this award-winning global phenomenon, has been extended for another season, until 31 March 2018.
In 1992, while journeying in the Australian outback, the British artist, Munro felt a compelling connection to the energy, heat and brightness of the desert landscape around Uluru. Munro recalls, “I wanted to create an illuminated field of stems that, like the dormant seed in a dry desert, would burst into bloom at dusk with gentle rhythms of light under a blazing blanket of star”. Having spent a decade marinating in this internal vision, Munro finally returned to the very space that inspired him, to the sacred Uluru in 2016 for the installation of Field of Light.
Good on Qantas for agreeing to transport the 15,000 tonnes of lights from Munro’s studio in England to the remote outback because this was when the idea really began to manifest from the ether and gained some traction.
Munro also felt anxious about imposing a Western artwork on a landscape so deeply entwined with indigenous culture and he also wanted to make sure the piece worked in synergy and not try to out-do its striking desert surrounds.
“There is a sense of spectacle in that it’s a vast installation but it’s meant to be a meditative piece, a gentle piece, not a sort of ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’ piece that lights up the sky so you can’t see anything else. This is really just me trying to express how much Uluru changed me,” he says. “I’m not being corny but it did change my life. There’s not a day that I don’t get up in the morning and say thank you to Uluru.”
The exhibition, aptly named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in local Pitjanjatjara is Munro’s largest work to date, with more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frosted-glass orbs over an area the size of seven football fields. Pathways draw viewers into the installation, which comes to life under a sky brilliant with starts. Please people, go and see this once in a lifetime event. It will blow you away!