The Field of Light Installation by artist Bruce Munro is an immersive art piece comprising 50,000 shimmering lights. The sight of these lights is set against the backdrop of Uluru in the Australian Outback and spread over a vast desert landscape.
This pilgrimage-worthy sight is neither easy nor affordable to get to, so the news that the artist opened an exhibit in Paso Robles, California is exciting for all those passionate about his art designed to illuminate and accent natural beauty.
This newest installation is Munro’s largest one yet, covering a 15-acre hillside in California’s wine country, around four hours north of Los Angeles. The art project, entitled Field of Light at Sensorio, has taken several years to finish, but it is meant only to complement the landscape’s natural beauty, not to add to or take away from it.
“We want visitors to be completely immersed in the environment, inclusive of the stars above,” Munro said to Travel + Leisure. “Everything we’ve created here at Sensorio dips below an elevation of 830 feet, so visitors will feel like they’re being cradled in the valley.”
Munro designed the 58,800 stemmed spheres lit by fiber-optics and LED’s to glow in varying rainbow-colored hues, giving the effect of the super blooms that covered areas of California this past spring by day. At night, however, is when the sight is most stunning. The ground transforms into a galaxy of stars, unlike anything you’ve seen or imagined.
“The amount of light emitted is surprisingly minimal — about the same as what a couple of houses would give off if they were spread over a 12-acre valley,” Munro explained, “so there’s a balance between the stars on the ground and those in the sky.”
Munro’s hope is that his work creates perspective as well as community. He designed it so that visitors could walk meditatively through the valley, considering the play of the nights on the natural wonders surrounding it.
“I work in light, but it’s not about the light, it’s about emotions,” he said. “I feel that we’re in a moment of history when we have to start questioning our values and getting back to basics. I hope that, in a small way, my installation helps guide you toward the clear sky, literally and otherwise.”