Waddesdon Manor Exhibition: Light at Waddesdon (Bruce Munro) (June 2013)

I went to Waddesdon Manor to see an exhibition that was advertised on their website:


Under ‘Contemporary at Waddesdon’ this was a short explanation:

“Continuing our programme Light at Waddesdon which was launched at Christmas 2012 with two pieces of light art, Blue Moon on a Platter and Angel of Light by Bruce Munro, the Coach House Gallery will host another extraordinary installation for the 2013 season.

Cantus Arcticus was inspired by the shimmering curtains of the Northern Lights and by a piece of music of the same name, by the Finnish composer Einohujani Rautavaara (b.1928), which in turn was inspired by the landscape and bird song of the Arctic tundra. It is composed of 15 abstract bird forms rendered in curtains of glowing fibre optic occupying the Coach House floor.  Light will cascade from above each piece, casting soft pools that change colour in response to Rautavaara’s music, which will be playing in the space.

Munro is a Wiltshire-based artist who has long been fascinated by the emotional impact of light and the way in which it creates responses and reactions to landscapes. His work has been exhibited at the Eden Project, the V&A, the Holburne Museum in Bath and most recently at Longwood Garden outside Philadelphia. He is also planning a series of 6 site-specific installations for the gardens at Waddesdon for Winter 2013.

For more information on Bruce and his work, visit www.brucemunro.co.uk

From this I was quite intrigued. Often, Waddesdon Manor hosts many interesting art pieces like this:

However, when we finally got down there, it was a little smaller than expected, but the music and the smoke effects were very soothing. In the room before it, there were other examples of this work, most related to light. One in particular caught my eye, a trail of grass in between thousands of CDs reflecting the sunlight which I thought was beautiful and precise/detailed.


I think it was a beautifully delicate installation, not much could be taken from it but I think it was good to view it for experience. Here are the pictures from the Northern Lights room:

I liked the mirrors that were placed as if they were flowing around the room – similar to how you would imagine the Northern Lights to move. It was very peaceful in there, and every so often smoke would be let out, which made it slightly mystical. It was very relaxing.


Sky Arts: Ignition, Memory Palace (September 2013)

I was fairly disappointed with this exhibition. I’d seen it online and from the synopsis/image it looked really interesting. Graphic Designers, Illustrators and Artists all created pieces based around a single memory.

I wasn’t allowed to sketch or take photographs, so I could only present/recap information either from the internet or from the little booklet that was available…

Some of the pieces were very good, detailed and humorous, whereas some were just weird, confusing and looked a bit like junk thrown together! There was a huge contrast between pieces.

The best part was the end. They had installed iPads with an app that let us draw one of our memories, save them and then within a few minutes they would be uploaded on to a screen on the wall. Week by week as the exhibition went on, they collated all the memories of the public and printed them on an A1 black sheet so our memories became part of the exhibition too. A very clever, interactive point that I really enjoyed.

I then went to see some sections of the “Design is Everywhere” exhibition that was scattered around the V&A museum. We only went to ones that were relevant to Type/Graphics. I came across a room that showed pages from Circular Magazine. The pages were cleverly presented, most very vibrant and attracted attention in the right places. Lastly, I came across a ‘design studio’ where it looked like there was a workshop about type. Some designs had been replicated and put around the room. Some were very inventive, and some.. not so much! Still effective as a whole though.

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