The Dreamers.

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Longwood Gardens

A wander through a beautiful garden, surrounded by cheerful flowers, is an experience that has long inspired poetry, artworks, songs and novels. For installation artist and lighting designer Bruce Munro, it proved to be the perfect canvas to showcase the beauty of nature itself. In his first large-scale solo show, Bruce converted the 9.3 ha of Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, USA, into a wondrous artwork composed of seven outdoor and two indoor installations, as well as a collection of sculptural works. Ensconced within their natural surroundings, the outdoor installations mimic aspects of nature. Used CDs float delicately atop one of the lakes to represent waterlilies in ‘Waterlilies in Bloom’, while thousands of LED lights perched on stems like dandelions create the ‘Field of Light’. Meanwhile, the ‘Arrow Spring’ on the flower-walk lawn is made up of 328 copper fibreoptic ‘firefly’ stems that are planted into a raised garden bed with salvia plants. The plants of the spring come alive when illuminated via LEDs in 16 oil-lamp spheres with an internal lens assembly. You can also take a wander through the ‘Forest of Light’, consisting of a 20,000-stem field of glass bulbs resembling blooming flowers planted along a 750 m pathway. For Bruce, the artistic challenge was creating works that ‘spoke’ to the landscape but also enhanced the natural beauty of the gardens themselves. In addition, he focused on ensuring minimal impact on the environment, including the use of low-energy material, while also being sensitive to the structural layout of the gardens.