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BRILLIANT ideas needed to light up Lumiere Durham 2017

Published February 01, 2017 8.26am


Arts charity Artichoke has launched its search for 2017's BRILLIANT artists, as part of a scheme inviting local people with exciting original ideas to submit them for this year's Lumiere festival.

Lumiere - litre of light
Litre of Light by former BRILLIANT winner Mick Stephenson
Lumiere is produced by Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council, with additional support from Arts Council England and a raft of other partners and supporters.

The BRILLIANT competition is open to anyone originally from, or currently living in the North East, who has a potentially winning idea to create a new artwork made with light for Lumiere, which is returning to Durham for a 5th edition.

Do you need to be an artist?

You don't need to be an artist to take part. Previous winners have been:

  • People interested in trying something different
  • People who like to be creative in their spare time
  • Artists at the start of their careers

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to BRILLIANT. No artistic experience is necessary, but light should be at the heart of all the ideas submitted.

Full details about how to apply can be found on the┬áLumiere Durham website together with a list of suggested locations. For further information or questions about the competition please contact brilliant@artichoke.uk.com.

What happens if you win?

The winning applications will receive funding and practical support from Lumiere producers Artichoke. The closing date to submit ideas is Monday 6 March at midday.

"This is a chance for local people to shine and for us to celebrate creativity and discover local talent in the North East as part of the internationally recognised Lumiere festival", said Kate Harvey, lead producer at Artichoke, who has been involved with BRILLIANT from the start.

"It's been wonderful to discover new North East talent and each time the number of submissions has grown as people have got to know about the opportunity. It's often the smallest ideas that make the greatest impact, so don't be shy. I can't wait to see what people propose. "

Our Leader, Cllr Simon Henig, said: "Making sure that our region and communities are at the heart of the UK's largest light festival is really important to us, and one of the many reasons we commission this world class festival.

"As we celebrate Durham as a Place of Light I cannot think of a more perfect way for the public to help us illuminate all that is great about where we live and work."

What won last time?

In 2015, more than 100 people applied and four winning ideas were chosen to be part of the festival programme and showcased as part of Lumiere alongside international light artists and designers.

Past winning ideas have included giant neon piece of knitting complete with needles, made by Victoria MacLeod, a retired teacher from Sunderland who turned her hobby of knitting into the eye catching Big Knitting and Sunderland student Robyn Wright's delightful Neon Bikes.

What effect did it have on the winners?

Several BRILLIANT winners have seen their lives transformed. Durham-based builder Mick Stephenson has put down his tools to become a full-time artist, exhibiting his work across the North East and in London. 2013 winner Stu Langley has since toured his Lumiere installation Stained Glass Cars to several locations and as far as Singapore.

Louise Mackenzie, a Newcastle-based artist and 2015 winner says the support she received to develop her work at an early stage of her career has been very important: "Artichoke's professionalism and deeply skilled technical help gave me the confidence to realise my concept and to develop it beyond the original idea", she said.

"Since winning BRILLIANT in 2015, I have adapted my installation The Stars Beneath our Feet for other venues. It has since been shown in Edinburgh and Shanghai, and I also had the opportunity to make new work for Photo Espana 2016 in Madrid."