Longwood Gardens will light up June 30 with eight huge new installations by Bruce Munro, including 18,000 stemmed bulbs in a Field of Light, 1,000 flamingos wading in a pool and projections on a canvas of 8,960 CDs.
It’s been a decade since Munro, a British citizen known for large light displays he describes as immersive, first lit up Longwood in summer 2012.
That show included lighted pathways, shimmery bulbs by the lake, towers created from layers of bottles and huge chandeliers in the conservatory.
This year’s nighttime “Light: Installations by Bruce Munro” will run through Oct. 30 on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Shows will start at dusk and require special tickets.
The installations, indoors and out, include:
- Field of Light’s 18,000 illuminated stemmed orbs lit by fiber optics along the Large Lake landscape
- SOS in the orchard, an array of lights with a pathway of 162 gabion baskets synchronized to the tuning of an old radio
- Gone Fishing‘s three 15-foot diameter structures, each formed by 100 fishing rods reflecting on the surface of the Small Lake.
- Time & Again’s 37 stainless steel lilies forming a 20-foot convex dome shimmering with radial star bursts of light at the Whispering Bench
- Ramandu’s Table, 1,000 white flamingos with continuing changing hues wading in the pear-shaped basin near the Chimes Tower.
- Green Flash in the East Conservatory, a three-and-a-half-meter geodesic sphere of 1,820 empty bottles
- C-Scales in the conservatory’s Exhibition Hall, a shimmering lake of 8,960 CDs reflecting a Longwood inspired film sequence from overhead projectors
- Time & Place in the conservatory’s Music Room, where artwork reinterprets moments in time, represented as abstractions.
“Art is a strong way of connecting people to themselves and the landscape,” Munro said in a press release. “I hope to inspire guests to become more aware of the space they are in and to revel in the wonder that is Longwood Gardens.”
His work has been shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
See some of his work here.
Longwood Gardens, located at 101 Longwood Road in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is a former du Pont estate that routinely tops lists of Philadelphia-area cultural attractions.
Special tickets are required for “Light,” starting at 5 p.m. June 30-Aug.28 and at 4 p.m. Sept. 1-Oct. 30.
Admission is $35 for adults (ages 19+); $32 for college students and seniors; $19 for youth (ages 5–18), and free for ages 4 and under. Sell-outs are expected, and guests are urged to buy tickets at longwoodgardens.org. Members require free timed reservations if arriving after 3 p.m.
Longwood Light Nights
On the second Friday of each month, Longwood will host themed Light Nights with talks, live music, fountain performances, family activities and concessions. Light Nights are free with a Light ticket or member reservation.
- My Only Sunshine, Friday, July 8, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Caribbean Nights, Friday, Aug. 12, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Over the Moon, Friday, Sept. 9, 5-8 p.m.
- Wondrous Water, Friday, Oct.14, 5-8 p.m.
Longwood’s 30-minute Illuminated Fountain Performance will take place nightly at 9:15 June through August and 8:15 p.m. in September and October.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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