British Artist Uses 65,000 CDs for Installation

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British Artist Uses 65,000 CDs for Installation

British artist Bruce Munro’s latest work involves a sustainable medium that incorporates recycling: CDs. And not just a couple of CDs—65,000 recycled CDs.

The installation, which is being called “Waterlilies,” was made for the Longwoods Garden in Pennsylvania and consists of a hundred 6-foot foam lilies and a hundred 8-foot foam lilies topped with recycled CDs. The CDs serve as lightcatchers that will catch and reflect light.

Light is Munro’s true medium in his work. “I always carry a sketchbook and everything that touches my life goes into it. Making sculptures and lights from these jottings is what I do, and my only ambition is to do more,” says Munro.

The Longwoods Garden website shares: Floating tranquilly in the Large Lake that edges Peirce’s Woods, Waterlilies is a tribute to the platter-like Victoria waterlily that the Gardens first hybridized in 1961. Comprised of foam discs topped with thousands of recycled CDs, the installation mirrors the ever-changing hues of the surrounding landscape. Often Bruce’s large-scale installations reflect moments of distant memory, when light has been the catalyst of change, or altered his mood profoundly. Avoiding wastefulness, he often attempts the creation of magical beauty with humble, or discarded materials.

The installation, which is Munro’s first one-man show, consists of eight large outdoor installations, two installations within the 4-acre Grand Conservatory, and a collection of illuminated sculptures in the Music Room. According to Munro, his aim with his recent installation was to pass on positive energy and make visitors feel the “warm glow of a smile.”

Munro, who is working in the US for the first time, discloses a little about his inspirations:

Longwood Gardens’ famous homegrown Victoria lilies were the catalyst behind my creation of giant Waterlilies made out of CDs—a material I worked with extensively in my CD Sea installation (in which 600,000 recycled CDs were laid out in a field in the British countryside). I also must give credit to two other inspirations. First to C.S. Lewis’s book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which depicts a sea of white lilies that signifies the border between two worlds, and second to a Georgia O’Keeffe painting that shows a clear blue Arizona sky populated by abstracted clouds receding from the bottom to top edge of the canvas.

If Munro’s installation wasn’t sustainable to begin with, turns out he intends to reuse the materials after the exhibit is over.

Installations by Bruce Munro at Longwood Gardens opened 9th June and covers 23-acres in the historic gardens outside Philadelphia. The installation is best viewed by day. Check out more of his work on his website.


Susmita is a freelance writer and editor in the Greater New York City area with her own blog on natural beauty (Cherry Stained Lips). In her spare time, Susmita enjoys cooking, traveling, dappling in photography, art history and interior design, and moonlighting as a therapist for her loved ones.