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Artist Bruce Munro turns California meadow into mesmerizing ‘Field of Light’

Artist Bruce Munro turns California meadow into mesmerizing ‘Field of Light’
Lights undulate and shimmer at "Field of Light at Sensorio" in Paso Robles, Calif. (Serena Munro / From Bruce Munro)

Wander around a meadow in Paso Robles after dark and you’ll find a field of 58,000 “flowers” undulating with colored lights covering 15 rolling acres of land. Comparisons to Southern California’s recent superbloom have been made, except these flowers are solar-powered, fiber-optic spheres on stems.

More than 58,000 bulbs create the rolling meadow of light.
More than 58,000 bulbs create the rolling meadow of light. (Serena Munro / From Bruce Munro)

“Field of Light at Sensorio,” which went live May 19, is the work of British light installation artist Bruce Munro, who created similar projects at Uluru in Australia. It’s the largest field by the artist to date.

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Munro said in a recent interview via Skype that the Sensorio Field is “very different from Uluru. It’s a rolling meadow outside Paso Robles.”

Lights for the solar-powered "flowers" are on a timer at the "Field of Light at Sensorio."
Lights for the solar-powered "flowers" are on a timer at the "Field of Light at Sensorio." (Serena Munro/Courtesy of Bruce Munro)

Uluru, the sacred place also known as Ayer’s Rock in Australia’s Northern Territory, first inspired his vision to create a field of light. That field opened in 2016 as a temporary exhibit and has been extended to run through Dec. 31, 2020.

Sensorio is the brain child of Ken and Bobbi Hunter. Similar to Munro, who waited more than 20 years to realize his Field of Light in Uluru, Ken Hunter said he “carried the idea for more than 30 years” after a visit to the Butchart Garden in Victoria, B.C., Canada.

The light sculpture combines nature, art and technology.
The light sculpture combines nature, art and technology. (Serena Munro / From Bruce Munro)

His dream was to create an “inspiring entertainment garden” that would serve as a “playground for the mind.” His wife, Bobbi, said they contacted Munro after seeing his “Field of Light” in Uluru. Munro saw the landscape at Sensorio and said it was perfect for such a project.

“This one particular idea is dictated by the land and nature, and working cohesively with nature -- in this day and age, people really like that,” said Bobbi Hunter.

Close-up of the bulbs that make up "Field of Light at Sensorio."
Close-up of the bulbs that make up "Field of Light at Sensorio." (Serena Munro/Courtesy of Bruce Munro)

Visitors can walk through the field, which will be displayed Wednesdays through Sundays through Jan. 5. Opening times vary by season, and storms may shut the installation.

The field during daylight, with flower lights in place.
The field during daylight, with flower lights in place. (Serena Munro / From Bruce Munro)

Tickets cost $27 to $30 for adults, $9 to $19 for children. You can buy VIP tickets that include access to a private terrace plus a picnic dinner for $125 (prices exclude tax and fees).

Info: “Field of Light at Sensorio,” 4380 Highway 46 East, Paso Robles, (805) 226-4287

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