Somerset/Wilts installation artist Bruce Munroe, whose work has been shown at the V&A, the Guggenheim and the Eden Project talks family, food and living the simple life with Muddy
British artist Bruce Munro is best known for immersive large-scale light-based installations. His work has been shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Eden Project (Cornwall) and the Guggenheim Museum (New York) – but he lives and works on the Wiltshire/Somerset border. Here are his favourite places here in the West Country
Starehole Bay, Salcombe
My favourite is a National Trust path in the Salcombe Estuary, south Devon. From Bolt head to Bolt tail. I used to run it daily as a child…now I amble! It’s a really lovely part of the county, where my dad used to have a house . There’s a very beautiful place on the walk called Starehole Bay, it’s magnificent – the path undulates around it and the rock formations are very unusual. I go every year with the children even though they’re grown up – we take a tent down and it’s great fun (when the sun shines).
I’m a massive fan of this place – it’s a great space and atmosphere in a converted chapel (hence the name) and they serve the best pizzas in Somerset, piping hot from a traditional pizza oven.
Roth Bar and Grill at Hauser & Wirth
How to combine modern art and gastronomy! The Roth Bar and Grill at Hauser & Wirth serves honest, simple and seasonal food in the most stunning surroundings. Beyond the gallery, Durslade is a working farm and the livestock born and bred there are served on-site. It’s a fabulous space and food. I find I’m tempted go alone so I can enjoy the art undisturbed. It’s a clever idea as one needs multiple visits to see everything… and then they change the exhibitions!
Hunting Raven, Frome
I love to browse in my lovely local bookshop and most importantly buy in there. These independent shops need all the support they can get, I feel sorry for bookshops trying to compete with Amazon – if we don’t support them we won’t have them any more. I’m part of a male book club that does more drinking than reading, but I do get through quite a lot of books, partly because I read more when I travel, but also I wake up quite a lot in the night, I think my head is full of light installations. I’m always anxious before an installation opens, and Winter Light includes a lot of new work.
The Red Lion, nr Maiden Bradley
I used to be a real pub lover, but sadly I’m so busy these days I don’t seem to have time to really indulge. I spend as much of my time in the studio creating, and also traveling overseas to museums. Having said that, when I am home a favourite winter treat during the week is a pint of Butcombe and a cottage pie sitting by the fire at this lovely local pub.
When the children are at home, we might catch an early lunch at Wagamama in Bath, and then we’ll split up the boys to watch Bath rugby at the Rec and the girls catch a film at the Odeon. It’s good to have family rituals. We always used to eat together and we still do that when the children come home. I remember that from my own childhood, sitting down as a family and catching up each other’s news. I think that’s important.