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An “Electric Bloom” of Light Installations Will Take Over This Botanical Garden in Spring

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Bruce Munro’s wildly popular light installations will be on view at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina starting this April 8.

Photo by Serena Munro. © 2019 Bruce Munro Ltd.

Bruce Munro’s wildly popular light installations will be on view at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina starting this April 8.

The latest site-specific exhibition from British artist Bruce Munro will decorate a historic South Carolina landscape with thousands of illuminated, flower-like bulbs and other impressive artworks.

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Last spring, British artist Bruce Munro unveiled his largest field installation and first solar-powered exhibit in the United States, consisting of 58,000 illuminated fiber-optic “blooms” spread across 15 acres in Paso Robles, California. The outdoor light installation was such a success that organizers extended its run by six months (through June 30, 2020) due to “overwhelming public demand.” 

This spring, Bruce Munro’s immersive light installations will decorate another natural landscape on the country’s opposite coast: the Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, a 9,127-acre National Historic Landmark located less than two hours north of Charleston and 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach by car. The exhibit, titled Bruce Munro at Brookgreen: Southern Light, will be on view at the botanical gardens from April 8 through September 12, 2020. It will mark the only opportunity to see Munro’s work in the eastern United States this year. 

Munro’s “Fireflies” installation will blend in with the natural flora in Brookgreen’s central Oak Allée.

Across the botanical gardens (which are also home to the largest collection of American figurative sculpture in the country), the exhibit will showcase seven site-specific works by the acclaimed British artist. Munro has previously installed similar light-based projects in California, London, and South Korea, as well as in Uluru, Australia, where his Field of Light installation opened in April 2017 and was extended through December 31, 2020, because of its popularity. For Brookgreen: Southern Lighteach of the seven artworks by Munro will be modified specifically for the garden spaces where they’ll be installed. 

In a grassy area near the entrance and visitor center (close to a prominent sculpture called The Visionaries), visitors will find 10 tall cylinders illuminated by fiber optics that change in color and emit corresponding sounds as part of an installation called Water-Towers. Nearby in Oak Allée, a central pathway of 250-year-old live oak trees that traverses a significant portion of the grounds, the Fireflies installation will feature leaf-like creations that blend in with the surrounding natural flora. Deeper within the gardens at Brookgreen’s Arboretum, Munro’s hugely popular Field of Light installation will consist of 11,700 illuminated stems reminiscent of flower bulbs, each softly fluctuating in color. 

In Brookgreen’s Arboretum, the “Field of Light” installation will consist of 11,700 illuminated stems that fluctuate in color.

Bruce Munro at Brookgreen: Southern Light will be on view at Brookgreen Gardens from April 8 through September 12, 2020, every Wednesday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for children for nonmembers. (For members, admission is $20 for adults and $12 for children.)

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