Must-See: ‘Bruce Munro: From Sunrise Road’ is illuminating the lush grounds of Heide at night

Must-See: ‘Bruce Munro: From Sunrise Road’ is illuminating the lush grounds of Heide at night

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Heide Museum of Modern Art presents the first Australian museum exhibition of acclaimed light artist Bruce Munro with extended opening hours.

This Winter, Heide Museum of Modern Art presents Bruce Munro: From Sunrise Road, the first museum exhibition in Australia of the work of internationally celebrated English/Australian artist Bruce Munro, best known for his interactive, large-scale light installations inspired largely by his interest in shared human experience.

Presented from 25 June to 16 October, the exhibition combines spectacular indoor and outdoor experiential artworks with intimate story-pieces, revealing the depth of the artist’s practice and the breadth of his sources, from the personal and philosophical to the literary and spiritual.

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Situated across Heide’s main galleries and sculpture park, the exhibition will present more than twenty key indoor works and an immersive outdoor light installation designed specifically for the site that will activate Heide’s iconic parklands at night. For the first time, the museum will extend its opening hours until 8pm from Thursday to Saturday throughout the exhibition for visitors to experience Munro’s outdoor artwork after dark. 

Munro’s outdoor installation in the Heide gardens, titled Candent Spring, stems from his celebrated Field of Light at Uluu in Central Australia, an installation that Munro is most well known for here in Australia.

At the heart of Candent Spring is the stunning work Time and Again, a convex arrangement of abstracted clock faces, or stainless-steel waterlilies scored with codes and patterns symbolising past, present, future, infinity, and the speed of light: in essence a translation of time into a visual diagram. Evoking a time machine, the gleaming dome marks time during the day through the passing of clouds and sky, while at night the lilies shimmer like radial starbursts. The work is surrounded by large clusters of ‘fireflies’, cascading optical fibre forms that visitors can walk through as they come to life at dusk in formations evoking the glittering spray of igniting fireworks or, in the artist’s words, a ‘virtual fire’ to warm the soul. 


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“Heide is delighted to bring the work of Bruce Munro to Melbourne for the first time,” says Heide Museum of Modern Art Director Lesley Harding.

“The beauty of the natural world, the complexity of the human condition, and the vastness of the cosmos are all brought to bear in an exhibition that is at once playful, contemplative and thought-provoking, offering an unforgettable interactive experience to engage the senses and enrich the mind.”

Munro’s From Sunrise Road also features ‘Ferryman’s Crossing’ comprises dozens of recycled CDs meshed together like an ocean with reflecting beams of light projected onto the work in morse code, inspired by the Herman Hesse novel Siddhartha, with the light projections echoing how mariners could communicate this way across large bodies of water.

Other works to see in the exhibition include ‘Reflections’ (a series of circular, kaleidoscopic, digital light animations, each with a different colour palette, and patterns and movement created using Morse code and graphics) and ‘Time and Place: Sunrise Road’ (a grid of changing light and colour based on photographic slides from Munro’s time in Sydney).

Bruce Munro: From Sunrise Road runs from June 25 to October 16. Tickets are free with museum entry.