Shimmering rows of reflective compact discs lit by pulses of light comprise Bruce Munro’s Ferryman’s Crossing, an installation that evokes sunlight bouncing off the surface of flowing water.
Throughout his work, Munro uses light to animate environments in ways that activate myriad associations. 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.
Munro strives to create ephemeral aesthetic experiences that allow for an expansion of thought. Through the choice of materials and technologies, the location of the artwork, and the scale of the installations, he layers ideas and interpretations. Munro hopes to spark a joie de vivre inspired by nature, the complexity of the human mind, and the vastness of the cosmos.
Bruce Munro: Ferryman’s Crossing at SMoCA is part of a series of events across the Valley titled Desert Radiance that includes installations of Munro’s work at the Desert Botanical Garden, Lisa Sette Gallery and with Scottsdale Public Art.
Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Sponsored by the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation, Paul Giancola and Carrie Lynn Richardson, Morrell & Associates Wealth Management, BMO Harris Bank, and Dennis Sage Home Entertainment