Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Shimmering rows of pulsing light comprise Bruce Munro’s Ferryman’s Crossing, an installation that evokes sunlight bouncing off the surface of flowing water. Munro conceived this installation as a meditation on Herman Hesse’s 1922 novel, Siddhartha. At the heart of the book lies a journey with a ferryman crossing a river; that crossing becomes symbolic of enlightenment as the ferryman provides both passenger and reader insights into the interdependence of all things. The water in the river serves as a metaphor for the continuous flow of time, melding the past, present and future into a single, ever-moving whole.
A secondary reference in this work is the dash/dot system of messaging now known as Morse code, which was developed by American artist and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse and his colleagues. Munro visually mimics this language primarily used by mariners to transmit warnings across vast bodies of water, while projected beams of light reflect off compact discs—another form of compressed communication.
Throughout his work, Munro uses light to animate environments in ways that activate myriad associations. Through the choice of materials and technologies, the location of the artwork, and the scale of the installations, he layers ideas and interpretations.
Whether you go or no, you can learn about the artist in this book about him and his innovative Light installations. The book, Light, features images from many of Munro's light-based installations and includes a collection of photographs from his exhibitions in the UK and USA, along with statements by the artist and an essay by art critic Dr. Richard Cork.