Christmas lights go up at Waddesdon Manor with Bruce Munro installation

By Mark Sheerin | 27 November 2012
Colour photo of a giant fibre optic ball in the midst of an outdoor installation at night
Bruce Munro, Blue Moon on a Platter at Waddesdon© Bruce Munro. Photo: Mark Pickthall

Exhibition Preview: A Blue Moon and an Angel of Light Shine, Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, until January 1 2012

You might associate exhuberant Christmas lights with council estates and high streets rather than stately homes. But such prejudices could be upset by the Bruce Munro installation at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.

In recent years, the British installation artist has already brought his lightshows to the V&A, the Guggenheim in New York and the Eden Project in Cornwall. And while Munro's studio takes its fair share of corporate clients, it is clear that large scale installations are where the real dramas take place.

As if to prove how theatrical light can be, his first piece at Waddesdon is set in the bowl of an undulating amphitheatre. Twenty-eight metres across, Blue Moon on a Platter is comprised of thousands of used CDs laid out around a lunar ball of fibre optics.

The second installation open this Christmas, Angel of Light, also uses CDs: in this case, 50,000 of them create a halo around the manor grounds’ North Front. Inspired by the music of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, this promises spectacle by night or day.

The light installations run until January 1st and kick off what is promised as a year of light at the Aylesbury home of the Rothschilds. So Munro will be back in Spring 2013 with a piece called Cantus Arcticus, before returning next Winter with a forest of glass spheres called River of Light. During the year’s longest nights, they could be just the tonic.

  • Open Wednesday-Sunday 10am-5pm. Admission £3.50-£8.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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