‘Stories in Light’: artist Bruce Munro showcases light exhibits at Montalvo

October 29, 2018 — by Eileen Bui and Colleen Feng

Bruce Munro is a UK-based artist who focuses on large scale light exhibitions. He has opened exhibitions all over the world, but his most recent showcase is open at the Montalvo Arts Center from Oct. 28-March 17. Munro uses multiple light techniques, one being fiber optics, which is light passing through glass fibers, to create his artwork. The exhibition is called “Stories in Light,” because of the many pieces inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia.

 

Bacchus’ Spring 9.3/10

Munro chose the fountain at the center of Montalvo’s Italianate garden to create this piece, inspired by C.S. Lewis’ “Prince Caspian.” He used 90 plastic bottles, fiber optics and a projector to create an unending fountain of wine.

This piece automatically captured our attention as it was the brightest exhibit and in the center of the garden. We really liked how Munro used recycled soda bottles as an eco-friendly option, and manipulated glowing fibers to look like the flow of a fountain.

 

Silver Sea 9.5/10

Silver Sea pays respect to another C.S. Lewis book: “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” Munro uses 6,250 glass spheres arranged in the shape of 25 lilies to recreate the scene in which King Caspian sails into a sea of lilies.

Multicolored fiber optics inside the spheres cause them to shift from white to various shades of blue, resulting in the lawn resembling an ocean. This installation takes up the main lawn in front of the villa and is largest of the 10; however, visitors can only walk around the lawn, not among the lilies. Overall, this exhibit is very appealing due to its grand scale and mesmerizing lights.    

 

Ramandu’s Table 9/10  

One thousand plastic white lawn flamingos stand hunched on the Charmaine Garden Terrace of Montalvo’s facility. Lights above the birds shift serenely from red to orange to yellow, mimicking the shift from dusk to dawn. For this exhibit, Munro was inspired by a pink lawn flamingo his father brought him from the United States.

The exhibit is also a homage to C.S. Lewis’ “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” in which a flock of white birds swoop down to eat a feast on Ramandu’s Table. This exhibit is highly engaging due to the uniqueness of the flamingos. It makes for a great photo opportunity.

 

Conclusion

We thought the light show was interesting and had some amazing exhibits, but tickets are pretty expensive and not entirely worth it. Of the 10 exhibits, five are fairly small and only need a quick look. But the other five exhibits were stunning. Bacchus’ Spring, Silver Sea and Ramandu’s Table were intriguing and well worth their price. If you are truly interested in art, we would recommend spending the $25, but if not, then save your money.

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