by Laura Hutson
I've gotten a fair amount of feedback for the review of Bruce Munro's Light I wrote for this week's Scene, but none were as heartfelt as the one I received from Dawn Kirk. I liked it so much that I'm going to post the entire letter, which was sent to me via email on Friday, here on Country Life. And while I continue to stand behind my assertion that Light is mindless fun, I can certainly appreciate the impact it seems to have had on Dawn, and undoubtedly countless others. What is art criticism about if not for creating conversations?
I hope you'll be open to my experience of Cheekwood's Light exhibit as it is in significant contrast to your recent review titled "Lightweight."
We spent three hours walking the grounds June 6th and visited many pieces in the installation twice in order to enjoy them later in the quiet and to experience what the pieces might reveal.
For example, "Water Towers" consisting of color, water and sound (materials of conduction) suggest a modern Stonehenge a conductor of energy for the ancient ones and still one for modern day pilgrims.
The ever changing "Blue Moon" in the Japanese garden is a beautiful, poignant reminder of the literal Moon's ever changing phases and time's precious passage.
Upon closer look, the mansion chandelier (pictured in your review) reveals a pattern known in sacred geometry as the Seed of Life.
Several associations came to mind while witnessing "Field of Light." Each little orb first reminded me of souls hovering just outside Earth's field awaiting their opportunity to live and walk in physical form. Then I thought of the many souls here doing the work they came to do, bringing light to issues such as human trafficking, issues that have been in societies shadow or dark. And as the name for this particular piece suggests, I was reminded of energies unseen "field of light" ever present and connecting all things, known by Native people around the world and now proven by quantum science.
This brings me to last but not least, the teepees which upon first glance were alarming and disappointing. I had seen them installed in the day and was unprepared for the electronic frenzy revealed in the night. So we sat for a while on a bench nearest the water to watch as well as listen to the frogs. It was then that my experience of even the teepees morphed into something suggesting even in this piece the possibility of depth.
The flashing teepees first reminded me of the energy of Native people remaining in the land. I often consider the great sorrow they experienced at white man's hands but this piece also reminded me of their joy as well, the joy they knew before many of our ancestors arrived.
As we continued to sit, I noticed the light reflected in the pond's water looked like symbols moving through the above and the below. The nearby croaking frogs contributing their sound brought to mind sound and symbol and the fact that energy carries vibration. I realized we were witness to energy dancing all about. Energy is vibration and the dancing colors combined with the croaking frogs reminded me of this.
As you can see, our 3-and-a-half-hour stay was far from disappointing. In fact our only disturbance was unintentionally caused by two women standing before the changing "Blue Moon" recounting time in their knitting group and later on a man at the pond complaining about the heat as many on the grounds that night walked about in a cool breeze sporting long sleeves.
I hope you'll consider giving Light another chance and even possibly another review.
Dawn Kirk, LCSW