Ten years in the making, Sensorio is finally offering a first glimpse of the project to the public. A unique destination in central California, Sensorio is using a well-considered mix of technology, art installations and community elements that culminates into an experience that stays with you.
The privately funded, wellness experiment is tapping into the $595 billion mind/body wellness industry (2017) thanks to the focus on experiential and community elements. The current jewel in Sensorio’s crown is ‘Field of Light’, an installation by the British artist Bruce Munro focused around reflection and wellness. 58,800 ‘stemmed spheres’ (see below) lit by solar-powered fibre-optics. Each bulb gently pulsates as visitors walk around the canyon whatever route they choose through the canyon the Sensorio team created to maximise visitor pleasure. The canyon has multiple points that fully immerse the visitor where no human-made structures are visible, and the individual can blend into the experience and gets bathed in light. In total, the field took over 20 people six weeks to carefully place each stemmed sphere to create the right effect.
Munro’s work is famous for creating deep emotional responses from the viewer. ‘Field of Light;’ at Sensorio is no different. Inspired by the passing of his Father, Munro and the team have created the most extensive version to date (‘Field of Light’ was previously at Ayres Rock and other locations). Sensorio is a much larger version that posed new challenges and opportunities thanks to the distinct site in Paso Robles. Large scale installations and public space curation is a growing trend. The benefits of forest bathing to interactive tours bodes well for Sensorio who pushes the envelope further desiring to be the next evolution of mass public wellness.
Munro doesn’t aim his work at anyone but instead “just does it”. An instinctive artist, Munro wants viewers to forget about the world around them and instead immerse themselves in the landscape and “just live and see what transpires”. “I had these moments of clarity…sitting by the sea…walking down the street or listening to a piece of music, and I made notations in my sketchbook, I looked back, and I started putting narratives to these moments to make pieces of work about them. When Dad died, I just knew I needed to make them happen.”
“I leave reactions up to people,” says Munro. “Nothing is done in isolation. The team has created something special. From the patrons to the people who screwed the spheres for the LEDs together…it’s not about me. We need to stop thinking ‘I’ and more about uniting.”
Sensorio is a unique place that mixes art, technology and nature in a way that creates something powerful. The future for the site is bright thanks to plans for a conference centre, hotel, wine activity area, plants and other exhibits planned for full opening in 2021. Sensorio will be a playground for the mind and body when totally complete.
‘Field of Light’ opens 19/05 in Paso Robles, California, find out more about the location at sensoriopaso.com