The Lumiere festival is returning to Durham for the fifth time – and it’s set to be yet another unmissable event.
Between the 16th and 19th of November, the historical city will be illuminated with work by artists from around the world, with the previous Lumiere including artists from Canada, France, and Australia.
The free, city-wide event is produced by Artichoke – a leading arts charity that aims to make exciting and extraordinary art projects and events come to life, mainly focussing on turning public spaces into fantastic, artistic venues.
In 2015, Lumiere shone brighter than ever. With iconic pieces such as ‘CLOUD’ (Caitlin r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett), ‘Neon Bikes’ (Robyn Wright) and ‘I Love Durham’ (Jacques Rival), it’s exciting to see what the Lumiere artists will bring to the city this year.
Since the beginning of Lumiere in 2009, Ross Ashton, Robert Ziegler and John Del’Nero’s ‘Crown Of Light’ has been a major projection piece, projecting images and videos onto Durham’s famous cathedral that shine with inspiration from Christianity in the North East.
This year, however, it has been announced that there’ll be an all-new piece surrounding the cathedral: ‘Methods’ by Pablo Valbuena. ‘Methods’ is inspired by the 17th-century art of change ringing – the art of ringing bells in numerical sequences that consequently create brilliant tonal effects. This piece features a collaboration with Durham cathedral’s Bell Major (Christopher Crabtree) and the Durham Bell team, who have worked with Pablo to develop the musical score.
As well as projections, the festival also boasts LED, neon and interactive art, as well as hosting a conference. 2015 involved a vast range of incredible interactive art, one feature being the ‘Wheels Of Industry’ (Stu Langley) piece. This interactive artwork was built with the aim to remind spectators and participants of the energy sources at our feet, doing so by inviting guests to board the bicycle and pedal on the spot to light up the windows of a Reliant Robin.
Other thought-provoking pieces of the past include 2013’s ‘Consumerist Christmas Tree’ (Luzinterruptus) which aimed to challenge our addiction to plastic bags and consider the environmental impact of our throw-away culture. This was made personal to the area by using plastic bags that had been donated by Durham locals, really immersing Durham and its residents in the project.
This year, an exciting and touching 3D video will show Durham’s public service sector workers on centre stage, revealing the inner life of the city and uncovering the stories, anecdotes, and individuals that interact with the public on a daily basis. ‘Common Good’ (Shared Space & Light) will include 70 participants, from firefighters to teachers, and will be projected onto the facade of the Miner’s Hall at Redhills.
An extremely busy four nights are expected when Lumiere comes to town, with 2015 bringing over 200,000 visitors to the city for the festival.
Suitable and exciting for all the family, it’s recommended that a constant eye is kept on small children due to the large crowds that erupt into Durham’s small and narrow streets.
Parking is available throughout Durham, with a park and ride service running day and night.
Lumiere is definitely an event that can’t be missed. From the spectacular neon lights to the interactive installments, the extraordinary artistic festival is one that you will treasure in your memory forever.
For further information head to lumiere-festival.com.