The incredible installation near Uluru is set to close at the end of 2020.
Bruce Munro first visited Australia’s Red Centre in 1992. The British artist had lived in Sydney for eight years, doing odd jobs. He laid bricks, designed film sets and worked as a cook and gym instructor. Before he returned to England, he did what many visitors to Australia do – he threw a tent in the back of an old car and set off to explore the country. Uluru was one of his stops.
“It was a sort of swan song – a way of saying goodbye to Australia,” says Munro. But what was meant to be the end of his journey became the start of a new one.
As he sat on the flat red earth with nothing around but the towering monolith, he created a sketch. It was the first draft of what would become his most famous and recognisable work: Field of Light – an art installation that employs tens of thousands of small frosted-glass spheres, which transform their setting into a dreamily lit wonderland.
Since that trip to Uluru, Munro’s Field of Light has been seen all over the world, from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona to St Andrew Square in Edinburgh.
And since 2017, the exhibition has been illuminating the ancient lands near Uluru, its closing date extended several times as visitors flock to walk among the more than 50,000 solar-powered bulbs.
Displayed in the grounds of Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, about 15 kilometres north of Uluru, the installation will now remain until 31 December 2020.
And the ultimate way to experience it? Book a tour so you can walk around it or even fly above it. “The best time to take photographs is at dusk, because you have the change in light,” says Munro. “But when it goes completely dark, you see it against the stars in the sky, which is a totally different experience.”