Field of Light Uluru: A review

Screen shot 2016-03-22 at 6.17.30 PMLast night, I stood in the Central Western Desert looking out over auburn sand and scrubby Desert Oaks; Uluru in one direction and a totally wacky art installation in the other.

Bush flies were buzzing around my head, my Champagne glass was half empty, and the stars were pushing their way through the gauzy blue above. Many of Australia’s tourism elite, including Tourism Australia’s managing director John O’Sullivan, were making speeches and trying not to inhale insects.

When the formalities were over, the assembled group of dignitaries were let loose on the installation; a vast field of over 50,000 solar powered glass orbs sitting atop stems. These ‘flowers’ slowly light up with fibre optic cable that deliver orchestrated waves of colour as the sun goes down.

Artist Bruce Munro said the installation is meant to represent how he felt when he first came to Uluru in 1992: a feeling of sublime joy.

And that, funnily enough, is how I felt walking through a tinder dry desert night, trying not to bump into camera-wielding media from across the planet.

This installation is a joyful thing. A very weird and pointless thing of beauty. Like aurora borealis emanating from the earth, not the sky.

I had wondered how I would feel about a piece of art placed in one of the world’s most picturesque places. After all, isn’t it gilding the lily to try and improve on Uluru at sunset and sunrise?

And yet somehow, it does improve on it. It gives you something to wonder at on the ground floor once darkness falls. Better still, it gives all the ‘gonnas’ (as in, I’m ‘gonna’ go one day) an imperative to get out to Uluru and see Field of Light because it’s only here until March 31, 2017.





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