Uluru – Northern Territory June 2016 (11 photos)
In 1992, whilst journeying to Uluru through the Red Desert in Central Australia, English artist Bruce Munro felt a compelling connection to the energy, heat and brightness of the desert landscape, which he recorded in his ever present sketchbooks. The Field of Light is the embodiment of this experience. Munro recalls “I wanted to create an illuminated field of stems that, like the dormant seed in a dry desert, would burst into bloom at dusk with gentle rhythms of light under a blazing blanket of stars”.
I isolated the detail in this art installation from up close.
Having developed the idea for over a decade, the first Field of Light was created in the field behind Munro’s family home in Wiltshire. The Field of Light has since appeared at sites across the United Kingdom, the United States and Mexico.
Naturally enough, Munro was eventually asked to bring his Field of Light back to where it was conceived, Uluru, or Ayer’s Rock as it is still known to some. Of this, Munro said, “I now have the honour and privilege of returning to create an iteration of this artwork for the place that inspired it. A work conceived in the red desert returns to its birthplace springing from the dry ground.”
This version of the installation is Munro’s largest ever with more than 50,000 stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres that bloom as darkness falls over Australia’s spiritual heartland. Pathways draw viewers into the installation, which comes to life under the vast outback sky. The colour of the lights regularly change. It is also the first time the installation has been completely solar powered. The exhibition, named ‘Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku’ or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in the local Pitjantjatjara language, is in place for a full year until March 31, 2017.
Regular readers will know that I took a holiday just before Vivid ended. It may surprise you to know that I flew out to Uluru to meet up with a professional landscape photographer. In an attempt to broaden my photographic repertoire I undertook some professional tuition, on-location. The best way to learn in reality, and it made for a nice holiday; if you consider getting up well before dawn every morning to get to the best locations for the right light being on holiday.
Most of the tours to the Field of Light go at night time, for the lights. However, we had special permission to access the installation from more than 1 hour before dawn. In essence, we had the entire installation to ourselves. Landscape photography is all about the detail and planning and plenty of that was done well beforehand.
With the blessing of the local Anangu people, a section of bushland was burnt to allow for building of this light installation. I wonder if anyone thought at the time, “If you build it, they will come.”
In reality, Uluru is a fantastic sight in any light. It has a special and spiritual significance to the local Anangu. It embodies the concept of infinity. Long after we have gone the way of the dodo, it will still be there.
“If you build it, he will come.”
Speaking of light …
My yearly review of Vivid is now completed. 137 photos in 8 posts. All of my photography from this year and previous years of VIVID Sydney going back to 2012 can be found here:
VIVID Sydney page