Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden

Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden

Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden
Light-based installations to illuminate the Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden announces Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden featuring an inventive array of materials and hundreds of miles of fiber optics. Located throughout the Garden, the site-specific exhibition will reflect Munro’s personal interpretation of the Sonoran Desert. The exhibition runs selected nights from November 22, 2015 to May 8, 2016.

Internationally acclaimed British artist Bruce Munro is best known for immersive large-scale light-based installations inspired by his interest in shared human experience. Recording ideas and images in sketchbooks has been his practice for more than 30 years. By this means he has captured his responses to stimuli such as music, literature, science, and the world around him for reference, reflection, and subject matter. This tendency has been combined with a liking for components and an inventive urge for reuse, coupled with career training in manufacture of light. As a result Munro produces both monumental temporary experiential artworks and intimate story-pieces (

“I’ve viewed Bruce Munro’s installations at other locations and am very excited to see how it will look in our Sonoran Desert environment,” said Garden Director, Ken Schutz. “Our guests are in for an enchanting experience that begins as dusk and needs to be seen to believe.”

The show illustrates a passion for invention and repetitive use of materials and Munro conveys his love of experimentation through the use of light, glass, water bottles, acrylics and pottery creating an exhibition, through which visitors will wander the Garden guided by his dream-like displays.

The exhibition includes Field of Light, featuring 30,000 individual spheres of gently blooming light nestled on the side of the Garden Butte, cascading down onto the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail, a unique iteration of Munro's best known artwork. Saguaro, the colossal cactus, stands as a marker, to show what caught Munro's imagination and how that time and place was interpreted. Munro's desert inspiration continues with Temperate Zone, his interpretation of the ingenious cooling pots created by the indigenous communities in Arizona hundreds of years ago. Munro creates further iterations of his classic work Water-Towers, where 58 colored towers will grace the Garden among the iconic saguaro. The prismatic monumentality of Chindi will suspend in elegant form from the structures in the Sybil B. Harrington Succulent Gallery. Elsewhere Eden Blooms, Beacon, and Fireflies will further engage in dialogue with visitors and the desert landscape.

"It is an honor to have been invited to exhibit as part of the Desert Botanical Garden arts program and to present my work for the first time in the desert landscape,” said Bruce Munro. “I have always been fascinated with landscape and none more so than the desert. Indeed Uluru in Central Australia was the place that inspired Field of Light. It is a landscape I am constantly drawn to. It was for this reason that the Sonoran Desert held a familiarity for me. Spending time in Desert Botanical Garden felt like a homecoming of sorts. I will never forget the clarity of light like cut crystal, a dry desert heat and the sentinel cacti. And of course joyfully pondering these thoughts at the end of the day under the vapor cloud of a veranda mister.”

Desert Radiance
Munro’s work has become the subject of an unprecedented cultural collaboration titled Desert Radiance, allowing the artist solo experimentation in scales and environments, from land mass to water, and the domestic to the panoramic. The Desert Radiance collaborators include some of the greater Phoenix area’s preeminent arts organizations including site specific outdoor installations at the Desert Botanical Garden, a newly commissioned indoor installation at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, a large light-based installation set in the Canal at Scottsdale Waterfront specially commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art, and Lisa Sette Gallery’s presentation of diverse video installation pieces and smaller scale light-based artworks. Information about all of the exhibitions is available at:

About Bruce Munro

Born in London in 1959, Bruce Munro’s passion for light as a medium began in Australia. After completing a Fine Arts degree in England in 1982, Munro began working in design and lighting in Sydney where he was inspired by Australia’s natural light and landscape. He returned to England in 1992 and settled in Wiltshire, where he raised four children with his wife. Following his father’s death in 1999, Munro felt compelled to continue to pursue his artistic passions. His work has been shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild Collection in Buckinghamshire; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Longwood Gardens, Cheekwood Gardens and Atlanta Botanical Garden have all hosted exhibitions by Munro.

Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden is sponsored by APS. Additional support provided by Sunstate Equipment Co., LLC.

Desert Botanical Garden
1201 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008

November 22 – 25, 2015 / 5 – 10 p.m.
December dates are part of Las Noches de las Luminarias
January and February, 2016 / Wednesday – Saturday nights / 5 - 10 p.m.
March 1 – May 8, 2016 / Nightly / 6 - 11 p.m.
Member reservations available starting Monday, September 21, 2015
General Public tickets available starting Sunday, October 4, 2015

Evening Only Tickets
Adults $25
Children $12.50 (3-12)
Garden members and children 3 years and younger are admitted free.

Day/Nighttime Combination Tickets
Adults $30
Children $15 (3-12)
Garden members and children 3 years and younger are admitted free.

INFO: For more information call 480-941-1225 or visit

A “Phoenix Point of Pride”, the Desert Botanical Garden is one of only a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. It is a privately funded, non-profit organization and depends on revenues from admissions and gift shop sales, as well as contributions from individuals and businesses to fund its programs of environmental education, plant conservation and research.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login