Many Grand Strand visitors are already familiar with Murrells Inlet attraction Brookgreen Gardens. In fact, the historic property and sculpture gardens featuring 2,000-plus artworks displayed over 9,000-plus acres of natural beauty has long been a must-see on the Myrtle Beach area’s lengthy list of attractions. The destination has even got a strong claim to national arts-scene fame, since — boasting works from more than 400 artists — it houses the nation’s most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture, not to mention nature trails, a butterfly garden, historic rice plantations and the Lowcountry Zoo.
But this spring and summer, Myrtle Beach vacationers will have even more reason than usual to head for the Grand Strand’s southern end to take in this National Historic Landmark. That’s because, between early April and early September of this year, Brookgreen Gardens will host an enlightening new exhibit called “Bruce Munro at Brookgreen: Southern Light” — and it’ll be especially fun to take in during the evening hours.
A labor of love for world-renowned British artist Bruce Munro, the limited-time art exhibit presented by Brittain Resorts & Hotels will stand out from the ordinary with seven large-scale light sculptures, all of which harness illumination as their focal points and are built to draw guests in with their immersive qualities. The artist has designed the mixed-media displays to be natural fits in the outdoor spaces and historic structures where they’ll stand — areas he’s dubbed their “garden rooms.” And in total, the seven installations will encompass tens of thousands of individual components, all of which are meant to cumulatively deliver a singular and awe-inspiring exhibition.
“The inspirations behind the artwork being shown at Brookgreen came to me during a visit to the gardens,” Munro said. “I spent time exploring and simply allowing my eyes and imagination to wander and dream. The visit reinforced the notion of a garden made up of a series of interconnected outside ‘rooms.’ It also left me with an impression that the ‘garden rooms,’ populated by figurative sculptures, were surrounded by an untamed landscape — a magical place with an edge of the unknown!”
7 enlightening installations
The exhibits are set to be displayed from 7 to 10 p.m. each Wednesday through Saturday evening between April 8 and September 12, 2020. The seven installations will include:
- Field of Light — The anchor exhibit of “Southern Light,” this installation will feature 11,700 stems of light that “bloom” in softly moving colors and cover Brookgreen Gardens’ Arboretum area.
- Fireflies — Displayed in the in Oak Allée area of Brookgreen Gardens, this installation will feature 600 sprigs of flickering fiber-optic lights meant to resemble lightning bugs, creating a signature summertime spectacle for exhibit viewers to take in.
- Time and Again — Displayed in the Pegasus Field area of Brookgreen Gardens, this installation will feature 37 stainless steel “lilies” that come together to form a convex dome.
- Okonjima Choral Society — Presented behind the garden wall at Brookgreen Gardens’ Rosen Carolina Terrace, this installation will offer 2,000 “frogs” whose illuminated “eyes” pulsate in rhythm as they sing in unison.
- Hive — This installation on display at the Bell Tower in Brookgreen Gardens will consist of 1,448 bee-inspired hexagons that together form a giant illuminated bee hive.
- Reflections — Consisting of four hypnotic light and sound animations entitled “Clouds,” “Between Worlds,” “Anahata” and “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,” this digital display will be projected on the floor of the arcade area between the Brookgreen Gardens Welcome Center and the Keepsakes museum shop.
- Water-Towers — Featuring 10 tower structures, each made of 200-plus plastic water bottles and illuminated by fiber optics, this display complemented with choreographed music can be viewed in the grassy area adjacent to Brookgreen Gardens’ The Visionaries
“We are thrilled to be on the very exclusive list of venues to host an exhibit by Bruce Munro,” said Brookgreen Gardens President and CEO Page Kiniry. “At Brookgreen, we are dedicated to offering our guests and members the opportunity to experience not only American sculptural art, but art in a variety of mediums. This is a rare opportunity for our community and the region to see the work of this world-renowned artist.”
To learn more about “Southern Light” and to get your tickets, visit www.brookgreen.org.