Brookgreen Gardens to shine during British artist Bruce Munro exhibit in 2020

“Bruce Munro at Brookgreen: Southern Light” will run from April 8-Sept. 12, 2020

“Field of Light” will be one of British artist Bruce Munro’s exhibits at Brookgreen Gardens this year. (Photo by Serena Munro, Courtesy of Bruce Munro Ltd.)

There will be a shining light illuminating from South Carolina’s Hammock Coast beginning in April – no, make that thousands upon thousands of shining lights.

Renowned British artist Bruce Munro’s next major U.S. exhibition, “Bruce Munro at Brookgreen: Southern Light,” will come to life at world-famous Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet from Wednesday–Saturday, April 8 through Sept. 12 with extended daily hours. The exhibit, which will consist of seven works of art in light and mixed media will feature thousands of LED and fiber-optic points of light. The works will be placed throughout Brookgreen’s sculpture gardens and the arboretum area will contain a huge Field of Light.

The New York Times has hailed Munro’s work as a must-see, and Brookgreen’s exhibit will be the only opportunity to see Munro’s work in the southeastern United States in 2020.

“We are thrilled to be on the very exclusive list of venues to host an exhibit by Bruce Munro,” said Page Kiniry, Brookgreen Gardens’ president and CEO.  “At Brookgreen we are dedicated to offering our guests and members the opportunity to experience not only American sculptural art, but art in a variety of mediums. This is a rare opportunity for our community and the region to see the work of this world- renowned artist.”

The following illuminated installations will consist of tens of thousands of components, which will be placed throughout the sculpture gardens and arboretum:

  1. Field of Light – 11,700 stems of light in softly moving colors covering the Arboretum.
  2. Fireflies – 600 sprigs, flourishing in Oak Alle?e.
  3. Time and Again – 37 stainless steel “lilies” in Pegasus Field.
  4. Okonjima Choral Society – 2,000 ‘frogs’ singing in unison behind the garden wall at the Brenda S. Rosen Carolina Terrace.
  5. Hive – installation composed of 1,448 bee-inspired hexagonal elements in the Bell Tower.
  6. Reflections – 4 mesmerizing sound and light digital projections in the arcade between the Welcome Center and Keepsakes.
  7. Water-Towers – 10 Towers illuminated by fiber optics and choreographed sound in the grassy area adjacent to The Visionaries sculpture.

Munro is best known for large immersive light-based installations inspired primarily by his interest in shared human experience and connection. He completed a bachelor’s in fine arts at Bristol Polytechnic in 1982. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Sydney where he took up employment in design and lighting, inspired by Australia’s natural light and landscape. Returning to England in 1992, he settled in Wiltshire, where he raised four children with his wife. Following his father’s death in 1999, Munro felt compelled to resume artmaking on a personal level. His work has been shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild Collection, Buckinghamshire; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York. It is held in museum collections internationally including the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. 

“The inspirations behind the artwork being shown at Brookgreen came to me during a visit (to Brookgreen Gardens),” Munro said. “I spent time exploring and simply allowing my eye and imagination to wonder and dream. The visit reinforced the notion of a garden made up of a series of interconnected outside ‘rooms.’ It also left me with an impression that the ‘garden rooms,’ populated by figurative sculptures, were surrounded by an untamed landscape, a magical place with an edge of the unknown.”

Brookgreen will be opening Wednesday–Saturday evenings, April 8-Sept. 12, from 7-10 p.m. (with gates opening at 6 p.m.) for the Munro exhibit. Tickets will be available for purchase this fall, and a special season pass will be available for members of Brookgreen Gardens. Advance tickets are available now at https://www.brookgreen.org/bruce-munro. General-admission tickets are $25 (adults) and $15 (children 4-12). Members may purchase tickets for $20 for adults and $12 for children.

On Saturday, April 4, an exclusive VIP launch event, hosted by the Friends of Brookgreen Gardens, will inaugurate the exhibit.

For more information about Munro, go to www.brucemunro.co.uk.

Brookgreen Gardens is located on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island and is open to the public daily. Founded in 1931 by Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer Huntington, Brookgreen is home to the largest and most significant collection of American figurative sculpture in the country and continues as a leader in sculpture conservation, environmental conservation, and protection of the plants, animals, and history of the South Carolina Lowcountry. For more information, visit www.brookgreen.org or call 843-235- 6000.