Travel Notebook

Why You Must See the Field of Light

There’s still time to view the incredible, solar-powered Field of Light exhibition by Bruce Munro in Uluru, Australia. The large-scale, light-based installation has been extended until March 31, 2018. The mesmerizing installation is comprised of 50,000 globes of light and is, simply put, sublime. As I wandered around the lights in the darkness, I felt like Alice in Wonderland or like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory … it’s very much a fantasy land.

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Uluru itself is almost beyond all description – and at sunset, when the sky is a canvas of purples, magentas and blues, it’s a near heavenly experience. Then, once the sun has bid us adieu, Munro’s lights come on, one by one. (Early birds can also catch the lights just before sunrise.)

Munro has been enthralled with Uluru – often called the heart of Australia – for a quarter-century now, and has taken this opportunity to return and celebrate its beauty and mysticism on a grand scale. What would otherwise be a remote and arid section of Outback desert becomes a living theater for the majestic and ancient Uluru.

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The numbers are staggering – it took nine months, 60,000 lights shipped to the desert, six weeks and 40 people to complete the installation. Prior to the final project, Munro had tested smaller installations in the windows of London’s Harvey Nichols, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Edinburgh’s St. Andrew Square.

My interpretation, your interpretation – it’s personal and deeply felt. Munro realizes there are as many meanings as there are visitors. “The interpretations are so wide. There are people seeing body systems. There are fractals. it could be a galaxy, or it could be capillaries, veins in the palm of your hand. Or it could be a river belt,” he said. “I think that’s the beauty of it — people will allow their minds to roam in a very natural and young way.”

After my experience, I immediately came home and ordered Munro’s book to be able to see more of his incredible works. In today’s fractured world, there must be moments of meditation, of peace, of otherworldliness. Munro’s Field of Light is a gift – a chance for us to see, and feel, a shining, guiding light, when it is needed most.

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