Client: Discovery Green Conservancy
Location: Houston, TX, United States
Completion date: 2014
Weingarten Art Group
Public Art Agent
Discovery Green Conservatory
Bruce Munro’s Field of Light at Discovery Green is an immersive site-specific, temporary art installation measured at 291’ long x 70’ wide, and comprised of 4,500 radiant, frosted glass spheres atop slender stems connected by illuminated fiber optic. The spheres and stems wait quietly until dusk and then bloom with gentle rhythms of colored light as darkness falls over the park. As its first time presented in an urban American environment, Field of Light at Discovery Green makes its home along the Brown Promenade, intermingling with the park’s century-old oak trees and with the brightly lit skyline of downtown Houston.
Discovery Green Conservancy, a 501 (c)(3), and its board made a new commitment to bring high quality art installations to engage the park’s audience by animating the allée of live oak trees along the Brown Foundation Promenade with light as a feature. Ideally, this installation would resonate with the park’s goals and mission — to maintain an uncommonly beautiful park in the heart of Houston that serves as a village green — a source of health and happiness, and a window into the arts and traditions that enrich life in our city.
Munro Studios responded to an RFP from Discovery Green Conservancy’s newly-formed public art committee, which was looking for a temporary installation making creative use of light. The studio conducted a site visit and altered their submission to increase the size of the installation. Together with park staff and Weingarten Art Group, the studio planned for the installation and maintenance of this artwork in an open, public space. A team of 40 volunteers and members of the community contributed more than 200 hours to install Field of Light over a six-day period. The installation fulfilled the public art committee’s goal of providing Houstonians with unique, inspired experiences every time they visit Discovery Green.
British artist, Bruce Munro originally conceived the idea for Field of Light in 1992 during a trip through the red desert of central Australia, when he sketched a landscape of illuminated stems that would wait like dormant seeds in a dry desert, to bloom at night. The idea remained in his sketchbook until 2004, when he finally had space and resources to execute it. It has since been specifically re-imagined for sites across the globe. Although inspired by a unique landscape, Field of Light responds to its given environment, be that field or woodland.