Working with fiber optics, LEDs, digital projection, and illuminating components both complex and simple, British artist Bruce Munro has created massive installation works for prominent international venues such as the Salisbury Cathedral, the de Rothschild Foundation, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Lisa Sette Gallery—a light-filled modernist space wrapped in a glowing fabric scrim, serves as an exhilarating format for the staging of several new works created by Munro specifically for the gallery’s unique interior.
Unafraid of beauty and an aesthete of illumination, Munro’s works address light as both a source of mystery and joy, via components that range from the reflections cast by repurposed plastic bottles and discarded compact discs to complex light-conducting filaments and projections. Munro’s subjects are the spectrum of shared human experiences, and his inspirations are as diverse as his media—from the schoolboy humor referenced in his incandescent bed of nails, Restless Fakir, 2010-2015, to the parable of Siddhartha quoted in Ferryman’s Crossing II, 2015—in which long and short flashes of light tell the story in Morse code, and the series of glowing dots and dashes brims over the surfaces of a contained interior space in riverine gesture.
While the works may be technically complex, often Munro’s networks of glowing patterns and spatial associations illuminate the simple, momentary magic that radiance effects: humans are biologically changed by exposure to light, and we are drawn to it as a source of pleasure. The artist remarks, “A constant theme of my work is to describe the fleeting but contradictory ‘forever and always’ truth of ephemeral experience. ”
Munro’s show at Lisa Sette Gallery November 7, 2015 – January 2, 2016 will be his first gallery exhibition; in the past the artist’s work has been scaled to outdoor spaces or installed in vast interior structures. This fall Munro’s work is the subject of an unprecedented cultural collaboration in the Phoenix Valley entitled “Desert Radiance,” allowing the artist solo experimentation in scales and environments, from landmass to water, and the domestic to the panoramic. The “Desert Radiance” collaborators include some of the greater Phoenix area’s preeminent arts organizations, including a newly-commissioned indoor installation at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and site-specific outdoor installations at the Desert Botanical Garden and on the Scottsdale Waterfront. This alliance of arts presenters is completed by Lisa Sette Gallery’s offering of diverse video installations—including two recently conceived pieces—and his newer gallery-scaled light-based artworks.
Munro’s show at Lisa Sette Gallery will include Nine Clouds, a work designed specifically for the gallery that pays homage to the poem by William Wordsworth “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.” Munro remarks that in this work he seeks to “create an animated landscape of ten thousand abstracted Daffodil blooms, each with the equation for photosynthesis embedded through Morse code into its yin yang cellular structure. Ultimately my aim is to create a contemplative and dreamlike environment that reinforces that our experience is relative to the spaces we explore.”