BRUCE MUNRO: BEACON OF LIGHT



‘Field Of Light’ Sensorio, Paso Robles, California. Photographer: Serena Munro.
Copyright © 2019 Bruce Munro.

Described many years ago by a school tutor as just a ‘dreamer’, the award winning British designer BRUCE MUNRO has been turning his imagination into reality over the past twenty years by creating outstanding light sculptures around the world. His unique installations have been seen across the USA, the UK, France, the UAE, Barbados, South Korea, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Netherlands and Australia with invitations far and wide from museums, art galleries and major institutions. Starting out as an illustrator, Bruce’s visionary journey has taken him through projects and commissions for notables such as Alexander McQueen, Saatchi & Saatchi, The Eden Project, Harvey Nichols, Sotheby’s, Liberty, Kevin McCloud, Babington House, Pirelli, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Waddesdon Manor, Bentley Motors and JP Morgan, amongst others. From his home in Wiltshire, England, Bruce gives us an insight into his work, travel and international lifestyle…


C&B: “Which country most inspires you?”
BM: “Living in Australia in the 80’s inspired many of the ideas that I’m still working on today – I love the country!”


C&B: “Why did you choose light as a medium?”
BM: “I was living in Sydney in the 1980’s and came across a glowing ultra-violet plastic product in a shop window. It caught my imagination and I began using it in a ‘sign and display’ business I had back then, and I was hooked.  I was trained in art school as a painter, but I could never make a living at it. Early in my career I worked in lighting and design, for I had a family to raise, then in my forties, I began making artworks that were at first just meant for me personally, using a combination of components and light. I was very fortunate that other people began to notice them…”



C&B: “How did you gain your experience, and out of everything that’s happened in your life, who or what has taught you the most?”
BM: “My experience is simply my life. My father encouraged me to love life  and have a positive outlook…”


‘Light Shower’ at Salisbury Cathedral; ‘Beacon’ installation. Photographer: Mark Pickthall
Copyright © 2019 Bruce Munro

C&B: “What subject matter most inspires your work?”
BM: “When my father died in 1999 I decided to express some ideas that I had formulated over the years. I’ve kept sketchbook journals for the last 40 or so years and have noted moments when natural landscape has inspired feelings of connection and  joy. I simply wanted to share these ideas with others…”


C&B: “Out of your own collection, which piece resonates most with you, and why?”
BM: “Everything one does has a relevance; the most recent piece leads to the next…I love the making process…”


Bell chandelier; ‘Field of Light’ The Eden Project. Photographer: Mark Pickthall
Copyright © 2019 Bruce Munro.

C&B: “What message are you hoping to convey to those who view your work?”
BM: “I’m fascinated by time and place… I endeavour to create work that focuses on experiences that evoke feelings of being part of something much bigger than oneself. If the work produces a warm heart and a smile then I have done my job right…”


C&B: “What music do you listen to, if any, when you’re working?”
BM: “I mostly work in silence, but it depends on the job in hand. I’m currently working on large portfolio of 2d pieces derived from my iPhone photos. There’s a lot of  repetition in the making; I play a variety of improvised jazz classical music to help keep my focus…”



C&B: “Where is your next lighting exhibition/installation to be held and what is the topic?”
BM: “My next exhibition this year opens in Darwin, Australia on November 1, and the topic is Darwin itself, I was asked to create eight site-specific sculptures that are spread across the downtown and waterfront and speak to unique aspects of the city. Local Darwin artists will also have their work featured along the pathway established. In December, I will have an exhibition that includes my newest work at Messum’s Wiltshire, which is both a selling gallery and an art centre maintained by the same family that founded Messum’s gallery in London. The main topic for that exhibition is my interest in colour and memory across time and place. Each artwork reinterprets moments in time, distilling them and representing them as abstractions of my past. These artworks represent my remembrance of an experience, rather than the experience itself. In the US, I’ll have an exhibition opening next April at Brookgreen Gardens, which is both a sculpture park and botanical garden in South Carolina. That exhibition is about the landscape and gardens of what was a great American estate, before being set aside for public appreciation…”


‘Field of Light’ & ‘Water-Towers’ Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Pickthall
Copyright © 2019 Bruce Munro.

C&B: “When you’re at your most relaxed, where are you and what would be you perfect day?”
BM: “Being with my family and friends at the beginning of a holiday is my idea of a perfect day. Some the happiest and peaceful moments are by the sea… I also discovered the ‘Headspace’ meditation app two months ago and it’s changed my life! As a pastime, I enjoy home brewing and make my own cider; my son Tom and I love it but sadly no one else does!”


The Gara Rock Hotel, South Devon, England

C&B: “Which is your favourite restaurant and favourite hotel in the world, and why?”
BM: “I recently stayed at the Gara Rock Hotel in South Devon – a surprise 60th celebration with my family. The location overlooking the Salcombe estuary is stunning – understated luxury, delicious food, child and pet friendly, kind and attentive staff… a memorable weekend! ‘The Chapel’ restaurant in Bruton produce delicious wood fired pizzas, and much more. I’ve enjoyed many happy gatherings there with my family and friends…”


C&B: “What would you like your legacy to be?”
BM: “Legacies are made by ones actions, words and deeds. I endeavour to take every day as it comes and cherish the present…”


‘Field of Light’ Uluru, Australia. Photographer: Serena Munro
Copyright © 2019 Bruce Munro

*Bruce Munro ‘Field of Light’ installations can currently be seen at Sensorio, California and at Uluru, Australia. Upcoming exhibitions include Darwin, Australia and Messums Gallery, Wiltshire, Engand.


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