Published October 02, 2013
Artichoke to bring the Sun to Durham as full artist lineup revealed for this year’s Lumiere festival
Artichoke, producers of extraordinary events, have unveiled the full programme for the third Lumiere festival in Durham, 14-17 November 2013. The popular festival, which is commissioned by Durham County Council, drew an estimated 150,000 visitors in 2011. This year the festival has extended opening times and a free ticketed system during peak hours in the central area for the first time. Lumiere Durham is supported by Arts Council England and a raft of sponsors and partners.
Lumiere will weave a nocturnal art trail through the city, engaging with its architecture, inviting the audience to explore urban landscapes, and challenging how people think about and use public space. From the most simple intervention to the latest technology, the festival celebrates the myriad ways that international, UK and local artists and designers use light to make art.
The Lumiere 2013 Programme
Artworks announced today include an interactive model of the sun exactly 100 million times smaller than the real thing, by the Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano Hemmer; Elephantastic, a giant 3D promenading elephant by French design studio Top’là, and Glasgow artist and former Turner Prize nominee Nathan Coley’s found word sculpture A Place Beyond Belief, based on testimony from 9/11.
A new Lumiere commission from French artist collective Groupe LAPS will feature the company’s signature “stickmen” made from fluorescent tubes, who will “take over” the former Durham Miners’ Hall in North Road, in story that traces the building’s historical evolution from miners’ hall to nightclub.
French artist duo Atsara will fill the nave of Durham Cathedral and the gardens behind it with a glittering and hypnotic installation of dancing sparks and shafts of light resembling fireflies appearing and disappearing into the dark. In the Cathedral Cloisters, Korean artist Taegon Kim’s Dresses will form a ghostly trio of larger-than-life garments that shimmer and shift in colour.
Other installations announced today include Fête by Ron Haselden, and El Sol, a musical campsite by artist collective Het Pakt. Volume Unit, an interactive “jukebox” projected onto the front of the NS&I building, is a new commission from the Media Workshop, sponsored by the developers of Freeman’s Reach, a consortium consisting of Carillion Developments, part of Carillion plc, North East property business Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP.
Following its success in 2011, Tobie Langel’s Helvitictoc, the computerised clock that projects approximate times, is making a welcome return, this time to Clayport Library.
Lumiere in Partnership with Durham University
For the first time, artworks will be located at Durham University’s Science Park at Mountjoy, following a successful application by the University for a Grants for the Arts award by Arts Council England.
Solar Equation is a giant sun by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Featuring the world’s largest spherical hot-air balloon, this will be the first time the work has been seen in the UK. Live mathematical equations will generate an infinite variety of solar animations simulating the turbulence, flares and sunspots that can be seen on the surface of the sun. Audiences can interact with the installation disturbing the solar turbulence in real time through a free downloadable app.
Gina Czarnecki’s collaboration with Professor of Opthalmology John Girkin uses equipment more usually used by the security services to create a beautiful, dynamic work featuring irises projected onto the façade of the Bill Bryson Library. Audiences are invited to interact by having their own iris scanned. The work is supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award.
Science, Nature and the Environment
Several works in the festival will touch on science, nature and the environment. Platonic Spin by British sculptor Nathaniel Rackowe is a series of interlocking rectangles made from glowing wires that build to form a dodecahedron, a fundamental building block of the universe.
Two works by French artists Maro Avrabou and Dimitri Xanakis, Greenhouse Cars and Guardian Angels, use hyper-real and kitsch interpretations of nature to highlight our impact on the environment.
The Consumerist Christmas Tree by Spanish underground art collective Luzinterruptus will create a giant Christmas tree made from recycled plastic bags filled with light. Calling attention to our wastefulness, the project invites people to contribute their used plastic bags and help make the decorations for this new take on the traditional tree.
Litre of Light Campaign
Lumiere Durham this year is supporting a campaign that has revolutionised people’s lives in parts of the world where electricity is either not accessible or affordable. Litre of Light has brought light to thousands of people all over the world, thanks to a new technology developed at Harvard University creating simple light-bulbs from one-litre plastic bottles, water and chlorine. In Durham local residents and school children will be able to create their own bulb and install it in a windowless building designed and built by Durham artist and builder Mick Stephenson.
Lumiere will showcase artworks by local creatives selected earlier this year through the BRILLIANT commissioning scheme. Visitors arriving into Park and Rides at Sniperly, Howlands and Belmont will be greeted by Twist Design’s Stained Glass Cars. Stuart Newby’s Infinity Pools at the Gates Shopping Centre dares the audience to step into what appear to be bottomless pools. Beth J Ross’s three neon text pieces are based on the 11th Century Durham Proverbs and rendered in child’s handwriting, and will be installed at three different sites around Durham. Sarah Blood’s Sanctuary, consisting of twelve neon bird boxes and a soundscape of birdsong will be sited in St Oswald’s Churchyard.
As part of its outreach to the wider community, Lumiere has worked with offenders in prisons for each festival in Durham. The Other Side of the Wall is this year’s project and has embraced all four prisons in County Durham. Artists have worked with over 100 prisoners, with each being invited to fill two Perspex boxes, one representing the past, and one the future. The boxes will be displayed together to form a huge illuminated wall in the Galilee Chapel inside the Cathedral, with smaller walls being exhibited inside each of the prisons.
In 2011 Lumiere attracted 150,000 visitors over four nights and this year’s festival promises to be equally busy. There will be extended opening hours this year, with the festival running from 4.30pm to 11pm each night. Durham County Council will be extending the Park and Ride bus service until 11.30pm each night and there will be extra Park and Stride Facilities.
For the first time, this year access during the peak hours of 4.30pm to 7.30pm will be restricted to those with priority tickets, which are free and can be obtained in person from Gala Theatre and Durham County Council customer access points or from Ticketmaster. Special Gold Passes are also being made available for residents, businesses and students who need access to the central area. Tickets are not needed to see any of the installations outside the central area, or after 7.30 on any night.
Art Means Business
Lumiere will also host a one-day international conference on Friday 15th November about how the creative industries can offer innovative solutions for intractable problems, re-imagining the city in the twenty-first century. “Art Means Business” will include visionaries and policymakers from the worlds of urban planning, local government and business.
Helen Marriage, Lumiere’s Artistic Director said:
“Lumiere has become a fixture in the cultural calendar of the North East. It brings some of the world’s most eminent artists to Durham and attracts attention around the world.
“As a measure of Lumiere’s wider impact, this year’s festival will see attendance from most of Europe’s cultural attaches to the UK, and several eminent US thinkers and practitioners as part of the “Arts Means Business” conference, who are all keen to see the festival for themselves.
“From the awe-inspiring, to the contemplative to the simple, fun and quirky, Lumiere is about transformation – of places, people and perceptions.
“And in the spirit of transformation, I’m proud that the festival can offer space this year to the wonderful Litre of Light campaign, which has invented something so simple but so incredibly powerful with the possibility of transforming people’s lives with light.”
Councillor Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “Lumiere Durham 2013 promises to both entertain and amaze with a mix of technology and spectacle.
“The range of light installations and the changes made to the way the event will run look set to deliver a truly world class festival once more. And importantly, one which will deliver significant and lasting economic benefits to the county.”
The full list of artists and works is attached. Full details can also be found on the Lumiere festival website together with a series of podcast interviews and videos of the participating artists and their work, as well as up-to-date visitor information which will also be available through Twitter and on Facebook. www.lumiere-festival.com @artichoketrust, #lumieredurham, www.facebook.com/artichoketrust)