Bruce’s work makes you stop to think… “What does light mean to me? What are my favorite forms? Am I more of a moth to a flame kind of light lover?” I do always admire a brightly burning Edison bulb. I am definitely a girl that is quite particular to illumination. The right source, and my heart sings. Bruce’s FOREST OF LIGHT, 20,000 brilliantly glowing stems scattered through trees, is something that makes my heart sing. When you see pictures of his work, you can’t help but want to experience it firsthand. However, not being anywhere near Pennsylvania, where his current exhibit is being displayed, I will continue to be ever so satisfied with these images.
Bruce indulged me and my questions, answering brilliantly:
Dianna: I first came across your Field of Light installation. I would like my life to look like this. See these lights in gardens, fields, parks. You are creating fairytale magic I’d say, this is what dreams are made of. Mine at least. To what do we owe this pleasure? When did this start for you?
BRUCE MUNRO: As a child I thought “light” was magical (and still do). When I was five years old I wanted to paint Viking ships, silver seas and setting suns. By my twenties I wanted to paint how life made me feel. I was not a good painter…luckily Light became my medium of expression. The Field of Light was inspired on a trip to Uluru in 1992. It went into my sketch book and I just had to bring the idea to fruition. It took me a long time to make the first one. It’s a simple idea, but takes lots of man hours. I hope it makes people smile.
D: What is the installation you are most proud of? Does it correlate to the installation that required the most work?
BRUCE: The success of all installations is shared. There are many people involved. I just have the daft ideas and the will to make them happen. I loved CDSea because it reminds me of my father. It was inspired by the time when I lived in Sydney in my twenties. I remember missing my father (who lived by the sea in the UK) and instinctively dipped my hand into the sea to be near him. The sunlight on the sea that day was dazzling and my mood was transformed just by sitting quietly and not thinking. I wanted to make pieces that would evoke similar feelings. The CDSea is simple and it works. As I get older, I realise that making Art does not have to be complicated and often the solution to a problem it staring you in the face – it just takes a lifetime to learn to see!
D: Do you bring your work home with you? Do you have any installations where you live, if not, why?
BRUCE: It’s always in/on my mind. I think in light – it’s the way I see and understand my life. I am always experimenting . My family and I live in a farmhouse that has a 10 acre field and this is my canvas. My studio, a renovated barn, is twenty yards away from the house . I am lucky to have a team of talented artisans to help me realise my dreams.
D: What are ten of your artistic inspirations? They do not have to be artists…
BRUCE: Sound, Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, Empathy, Compassion, Love, Being – and my Father.
D: Fill in the blank: To me art is _______________.
BRUCE: …describing the indescribable.
D:What is a place that you’ve been which inspires you and your work? Where did you last travel to?
BRUCE: Uluru in Central Australia inspired the Field of Light. It was my mid-life awakening and it’s one of my life ambitions to create a temporary installation of 250,000 stems: www.fieldoflight.co.uk/uluru.php. I have just returned from a family holiday, Paxos, a beautiful Greek island. Turquoise waters, trumming Cicadas, dappled olive groves and lots of inspiration for new pieces.
D: Happiness is ________.
*FUN FACT: I love to realize that sometimes, my way of spelling something doesn’t. For example, upon first glance, Bruce’s realise looks wrong to me (and my computer) however, in fact:
Realise and realize are different spellings of the same word. Realize is the preferred spelling in American and Canadian English, and realise is preferred outside North America. This distinction extends to all derivatives of the verb, includingrealised/realized, realising/realizing, and realisation/realization.
[PHOTO CREDITS: Mark Pickthall & Corriette Schoenaerts]