Light as a garden ornament...who'd a thunk it? But this winter there's a glow in the night skies over the Eden Project in Cornwall, England thanks to Bruce Munro’s magical Field of Light installation. The British lighting maestro was inspired by a trip through the Australian desert, where the mysterious rhythms and ephemeral blooms were totally re-imagined in this vast illuminated sculpture, with some 6,000 bulb-topped fiber optic light stems connected almost 15 miles of fiber optic cable.
“The idea was originally conceived fifteen years ago during a trip through central Australia," says Munro on Eden Project's website. "I wanted to create a field of light stems that, like the dormant seed in a dry desert, would quietly wait until darkness falls, and then, under a blazing blanket of southern stars, bloom with gentle rhythms of light. One's attention is thus drawn to the nature that surrounds the installation as well as the Field Of Light itself.”
Munro's lights recall, to me anyway, the luminous glassworks created by Dale Chihuly that have in recent years become all the rage at cutting edge gardens. Maybe those two should work together. The Eden Project, BTW, is a fairly new public garden and environemental education center in Cornwall, a series of huge, dome-shaped greenhouses--one of which is the world's largest, called biomes, which house recreated, idealized ecosystems from all over the world. Because of its unusally temperate climate, Cornwall and its many unlikely gardens have been on my wish list of horticultural travel destinations for years; here's one more reason to go. But, I don't think I'll make it before Field of Light closes this spring.