October 15, 2018

A new art installation honouring peace, draws thousands to Albany's mount clarence

The Field of Light: Avenue of Honour, a new installation honouring peace and reconciliation with 16,000 glowing spheres planted in the ground at Albany’s Mt Clarence, has drawn around 5000 people through its gates on its opening weekend.

Commissioned by FORM in partnership with the City of Albany, acclaimed UK artist Bruce Munro’s Field of Light: Avenue of Honour is about cherishing the lives of the Anzacs who died in theatres of war.

Field of Light Avenue of Honour, Bruce Munro, Albany, 2018. Photograph by Mark Pickthall, courtesy of the Bruce Munro Studio

Standing beneath the memorial trees lining the Avenue of Honour from today until Anzac Day in 2019, the Field of Light: Avenue of Honour glows in the greens, whites and yellows of the wattle and the kowhai, the national flowers of Australia and New Zealand.

“This installation is about bringing to mind the infinite, youthful spirits of the Anzacs, and honouring their lives by vowing that war is no longer an acceptable option,” Bruce Munro said.

“To fulfil life’s potential, reconciliation and peace must always be at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. I am honoured and grateful for the opportunity to create an installation that cherishes life.”

The installation, which seeks to showcase Albany nationally as a world-class tourism destination, is Munro’s second large-scale outdoor artwork in Australia. His first has been enchanting visitors to Uluru since 2016. The artwork was installed over two weeks in September by a team of local volunteers, many of whom have a personal connection to an original Anzac.

FORM Chairman Paul Chamberlain said the installation drew together place, history, heritage and setting in an artwork of magnificent proportions. “Art is the way in which we humans express and share what matters to us -whether that is joyful or difficult,” Mr Chamberlain said.

“As the Indigenous peoples of both our nations have always known, if we don’t place art and culture at the absolute centre of who we are, and what we do, then we lose our most fundamental way of telling our stories to the world.”

Field of Light Avenue of Honour, Bruce Munro, Albany, 2018. Photograph by Mark Pickthall, courtesy of the Bruce Munro Studio

Western Australia’s Minister for Tourism Paul Papallia said the Field of Light: Avenue of Honour was expected to be a boon for tourism in the State.

“Thousands of national and international visitors are expected to visit Albany to view this incredible installation and commemorate our Anzac history,” Mr Papalia said.

“The glass spheres will glow in Albany, marking the site where tens of thousands troops departed Australia for the Great War. Albany would have been the last sight of home for many and this is a poignant thought.”

Field of Light: Avenue of Honour, is free to view and open daily and will light up from sunset to 10.00pm for the next 7 months. A ten-stop audio trail guide will provide visitors with the narrative behind the artwork. Visitors asked to bring their own headphones.