October 12, 2022
Black trees silhouetted under a nearly full Hunter’s Moon last Saturday gave British artist Bruce Munro’s light installation a unique Central Texas flavor. field of light, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. I bought tickets for 8pm for my family to see the fiber-optic, bioluminescent-like display after the sun went to sleep. That big old full moon almost stole the show!
what field of lightYou might be wondering?
“Illuminating 16 Acres at the Texas Arboretum at the Wildflower Center, field of light A stunning display of 28,000 vibrant solar-powered, fiber-optic light pods that showcases the intersection of art, technology and nature. The installation integrates with the outdoors, celebrating the natural landscape and creating an immersive and emotional experience for guests. The exhibition runs from September to December 2022.”
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
you enter field of light Through the back entrance to the Arboretum, where a shuttle drops you off. The mood among fellow visitors was calm, like in the church, as we walked the half mile, pausing often to take in the colorful, softly lit scene. Although I’ve walked the arboretum trail dozens of times, I was disoriented in the dark until we reached the iconic grove where swings usually hang from live oaks.
Munro’s light looks like an alien life form—a night scene avatarIts the planet Pandora. But they also stimulate natural phenomena on Earth, such as bioluminescent sea life or synchronous fireflies. Glowing orbs emerge from the neuron-like tangle of fiber-optic cables. Those little round heads standing at attention remind me of prairie dogs, or fluted cobras.
The trail runs through truly epic lights, so you’re surrounded by color and light as you walk the dark path. The flat terrain of the Arboretum and the preponderance of trees make it a bit difficult to see the great expanse of light except in some of the more open areas along the trail. But the light hanging over the meadow grass, slowly changing colors, looks beautiful, even in tree-lined scenes.
And judging by the number of couples cozying up to Grove’s tables, it’s the perfect place for a romantic date night. field of light Runs through December 30.
Fortlandia fans wondering if the Wildflower Center is still holding its annual Fort display this year (usually held at the Arboretum), fear not! It is now on display in the family garden until January 29. I will be visiting soon, as this is one of my favorite events at the Wildflower Center.
For more Bruce Munro light installation images, see my post about Munro’s 2015 show at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
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October 20th Garden Spark Talk “Black Flora” author Teresa Speight is on sale now, and you’re invited! Teri will share the stories of pioneering Black florists, floral activists and florists doing incredible work across the US in her profile of these incredible creatives. black flora is uplifting and inspiring; See my book review for more information. Join us and meet Terry during his lecture and book signing. Seating is limited, and tickets must be purchased in advance.
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