The regional art that’s set to shine

Internationally renowned artist Bruce Munro is creating Light/State: two awe-inspiring light installations that reflect the unique environment of the Mildura-Wentworth region.
Field of Light, Uluru by Bruce Munro. Image supplied

A brand-new attraction is set to hit the Mildura-Wentworth region, featuring two large-scale immersive light installations from famed global artist Bruce Munro.

Opening in the second half of 2023, Light/State comprises of two site-specific installations – one in Mildura, Victoria and another in Wentworth, New South Wales – reflecting the region’s unique landscape, culture and stories.

Expected to operate for more than two years, Light/State aims to increase overnight visitation to the region by more than 20 per cent and grow its visitor economy by up to $130M annually.

Light/State is born from the spirit of co-operation. We have two great states working together to create this wonderful experience for people to visit and enjoy,’ said Mildura Regional Development CEO Brett Millington.

‘Mildura, Wentworth and the surrounding region has always been a popular tourist destination – its expansive agricultural industry is known as Australia’s food bowl – so Light/State would be the jewel in the crown of this beautiful region.’

A MAGICAL DESTINATION IN ITS OWN RIGHT

Pico Play, a global expert in delivering outstanding guest experiences across attractions and activations, will conduct business feasibility on the Light/State project. Noel Dempsey, Pico Play Director of Business Delivery, sees Mildura as a magical destination in its own right.

‘Mildura is a thriving town that sits at the intersection of three states and is easily accessible from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. You’ve got this juxtaposition of the Murray River feeding the culture, agriculture, viticulture. And then on the other side, you’ve got the red desert. There’s this sort of contrast that made it such a great location for this type of attraction,’ said Dempsey.

Dempsey said Munro’s two installations encapsulated the region’s distinction and offered visitors a unique point of difference that complemented its spectacular natural assets.

Light/State is this beautiful fusion of land story, music and lights, and it will have a broad-based appeal to everyone,’ continued Dempsey.

‘The project is also an example of coming together. Borders have been quite topical lately in Australia. So, the idea is that we’ve created this state of mind where light has no borders. We want people to move in this sort of new zone, this new era. The overall intent is to show how people can and should be working together.’

A WORLD-CLASS ATTRACTION BY AN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED ARTIST

Light/State will comprise of two contrasting installations to be experienced over two separate evenings.

‘The site-specific installations will connect communities and inspire visitors to reflect, engage and interact with two stunning and distinctive environments,’ said Dempsey.

One will be a fusion of new technology, light and sound that emulates a desert symphony. Visitors will view the scale of the work from a natural amphitheatre, before descending through the installation and becoming part of the experience.

The second installation provides more quiet and reflective contemplation. A gentle light will complement the natural beauty of the region’s waterways encouraging connection to the land.

Famed global artist Bruce Munro. Image supplied.

Munro, who also created Uluru’s globally acclaimed Field of Light installation, said he was inspired by Mildura’s distinctive natural environment.

‘I like to explore how everything is linked and how it interacts with everyone. How people feel when they see my work is very important to me,’ Munro said.

‘I really want people to leave with a lighter heart and sense of positivity. We need good experiences, ones that make us realise we are not the most important thing in the world but part of the world.’

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

With Light/State drawing visitors from across Australia and generate significant economic returns, the wider community is being encouraged to get involved.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are invited from private and public investors, operators in the events, tourism and attractions industry, and members of the tourism, government and attractions sectors. All EOI documentation must be received by 19 November, and shortlisted parties will be notified in December 2021.

Tourism has been hard hit by COVID-19 and governments across the country are looking for ways to stimulate economies, so the timing is good according to Dempsey.

Light/State is accessible, appeals to every demographic, will draw visitors from across Australia and the world and offers yet another invitation for people to stay, play and explore this vibrant region,’ he said.  

‘But ultimately, this gives people an appetite to look in and appreciate their own backyard.’

Want to be part of Light/State? Expressions of Interest from partners, investors and operators to help deliver this illuminating experience are now open on the Light/State website.

Giselle Bueti is ArtsHub's Content Growth Editor. She has written for publications such as The Advertiser, The Adelaide Review, RIP IT UP, BMA magazine and Yewth Mag. Previously, Giselle worked as Arts Editor for The AU Review and has a background in higher education, creating digital content for top-tier Universities across Australia. She is based in Melbourne, Victoria.

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