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Beacon on the Hill … how the installation will look at night. Image: Stephen Weeks

Hillsides have long proved a popular place for public art – from the 3,000-year-old Uffington White Horse to the randy Cerne Abbas Giant and the spear-carrying Long Man of Wilmington.

But now these ancient geoglyphs are to be joined by a new, luminous addition to the canon: Beacon on the Hill, which will turn Long Knoll in Wiltshire into a giant breast.

This pink and blue installation, which will perch on the grassy hill in Kilmington like a radiant nipple, is the work of lighting artist Bruce Munro for UK breast cancer charity Cancerkin.

Formed of 2,730 individually lit plastic bottles, illuminated by fibre optic lights in the charity’s colours of pink and blue, the 5m by 3m geodesic dome structure will take a week for a team of five to build, beginning this weekend.

Munro, who is best known for his Field of Light installation, first exhibited at the V&A in 2004, has been working in a 10-acre field nearby for the past few years, installing a field of waving “desert flowers” as well as an inland sea of almost a million discarded CDs.

He was inspired to produce this breast-shaped beacon by the memory of a close friend, lost to breast cancer at just 33.

“This hill and surrounding countryside has long been my ‘canvas’,” he says. “I lost a dear friend very young to breast cancer. By illuminating the night sky for a brief moment, I hope to send the message ‘you are not alone’.”


Oliver Wainwright