Bruce Munro installed his new artwork CDSea
in a field near Kilmington over the weekend, after his appeal to collect unwanted CDs from the general public netted him 600,000 discs for the installation.
Munros CDSea is the first of a number of self-funded installations using discarded or recycled materials, planned for Long Knoll Field, which is bisected by a public footpath. Its a great public gallery space says Munro.
Over the weekend 140 friends and colleagues, including Kevin McCloud and other celebrities from the design-art world, helped to lay the installation. One family arriving from Frome in Somerset for a day out helping to build the artwork had a young boy with them. He sidled up to Munro and asked, Are you the one making the sea?
One man who had already donated 40,000 CDs brought his family and a further 1,000 CDs in the trunk of the car, keen to do all they could to contribute to this unusual artwork. Cider, sausages and sunshine added to the atmosphere.
The 10-acre field at Long Knoll is where in 2005 Munro installed a prototype of his installation Field of Light which went on to huge acclaim at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
In this setting CD Sea is on public view for the next two months. Munro conceives it as an inland sea reflecting light from the sun and moon. His assistants Ben and James fashioned the footpath into a meandering shape, following his design.
I was very nervous about it says Munro. You never know how something will work out, but now I could not be happier. Im so grateful to everyone who turned out to help. We had a magical weekend and CDSea looks amazing, like a giant painting on the grass.
From one side the CDs present a soft blue haze, but with the light ahead, they dazzle like 600,000 mirrors. A photographer was up at 3am on Monday morning to capture the installation in the moonlight.
When Munro launched his appeal in the press and BBC Wiltshire radio, urging readers and listeners to send unwanted CDs to his workshop, he didnt know what to expect. He was overwhelmed by the response as people sent CDs from all over the UK and as far afield as California and Brazil.
The catalyst for CDSea was Australia, where the quality of the light left a lasting impression on Munro as a young man. The idea came to him one homesick Sunday afternoon on a rocky peninsular at Nielsen Park, Sydney, which had become a meditative spot for Munro. The light was still strong, like a blanket of shimmering silver light. I had this childish notion that by putting my hand in the sea I was somehow connected to my home in Salcombe, where my father lived.
I came away from the beach in a very positive frame of mind he says. It was the first time he was aware that the play of light had transformed his mood and he was astonished that something so familiar had the power to alter his emotional state. CD Sea is a reconstruction of this moment, which became a turning point in his life.
The grass was mowed at Long Knoll Field to prepare the canvas, and on Saturday each CD was laid with a stone on it, to prevent wind damage. This proved too time-consuming and so the stone laying was abandoned on Sunday.
CDSea was photographed and shot on HD video by sun and moonlight from a purpose-built tower, from high on Long Knoll hill and from a paraglider.
After roughly two months in place the installation will be disbanded and all the CDs sent to a recycling plant in Frome.