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Full programme announced for Lumiere

Published October 16, 2017 4.47pm


The full programme of artworks, installations and events for Durham's fifth Lumiere - the UK's largest light festival - has been revealed today. Created by Artichoke, the UK's leading producers of art in the public realm, Lumiere runs from Thursday 16 until Sunday 19 November 2017, 4:30pm until 11.00pm.

Free to attend, the festival will reimagine the city of Durham with 29 artworks and installations made using the medium of light, by artists from around the world. From dramatic installations, energetic projections and more contemplative works across Durham's buildings, streets and bridges, Lumiere will illuminate the city in delightful, unexpected and spectacular ways across the four nights.

The festival is commissioned by Durham County Council, with additional support from Arts Council England, Durham University and a host of further funders and supporters.

Festival visitors are encouraged to explore the dazzling night-time spectacle on foot, whether discovering the city for the first time or seeing familiar sights in a new light.

Durham holds a unique place as the birthplace of Lumiere and local people and communities have become central to the story of the festival, providing both the inspiration and context for many of the artworks. The festival has become a landmark event in the cultural calendar of the North East and is recognised around the world as a must-see light festival, attracting 200,000 visitors in 2015.

This year's programme has a strong international element once again, with artists from around the world including from the United States and Canada, Spain, Holland, Sweden, Finland, as well as the UK. In addition, to coincide with Lumiere 2017, Durham is hosting the annual conference of LUCI (Urban Lighting Collective International).

Newly announced installations

Running through the heart of the city, the River Wear is a pivotal Durham landmark. Ralf Westerhof, a Netherlands-based artist known for his hanging wire sculptures resembling hand-drawn illustrations has created a large-scale installation shaped to look like a typical Dutch-style canal home. Drawn in Light, which will hang over the river beside the Elvet Bridge, rotating elegantly, twisting and turning to create a new city within a city. In contrast to the natural beauty of the river and its surroundings, Frequencies created by Finnish artist Kari Kola will use a bespoke soundscape and captivating light to transform the riverside and South Bailey into a dreamlike wonderland. Adam Frelin's simple yet effective White Line will trace the natural curve of the river. The light of the fluorescent fixtures strangely similar to moonlight will gently cast highlights and shadows altering the space around it.

A team of artists and scientists led by Simeon Nelson and including academics from Durham University are behind a bold new commission supported by Wellcome. Their thoughtprovoking work, entitled Cosmoscope, takes inspiration from the scientific study of the human body, from the microscopic cell to the beating of the human heart and through to the rhythm of the cosmos, asking viewers to consider their place in the universe at a micro and macro level.

On-site at Durham University's Lower Mountjoy site (University Science Site), video designer Nina Dunn, sound designer John Del'Nero and composer Isobel Waller-Bridge (UK) have teamed up to create Cosmic Architecture, a video and sound piece that salutes the extraordinary achievement of architect Daniel Libeskind's building for the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, celebrating the marriage of revolutionary architecture with the beauty of the theoretical models and computer simulations of the Universe that are developed within the building.

A number of interactive works place the audience at the centre, including Sagacity created by Aidan Moesby (UK). The installation, inspired by the Periodic Table of the Elements, takes the emotional 'temperature' of the community through the feelings expressed by people on social media. Control no Control, by Canadian based artist, Daniel Iregui presents an interactive LED light sculpture which fluctuates in response to the hand gestures and movements of the audience experiencing the work.

Stockholm-based art production company, Floating Pictures will invite audiences to use torches or smartphones as a paintbrush to decorate their surroundings in light graffiti, titled Colour by Light. Fellow Nordic lighting design collective LDCOL will transform the side of the Gala Theatre into an interactive glowing white cube, allowing participants to step inside a secret stage. Inspired by the image of glowing fields of wheat, Entre les Rangs will transform Durham's beautiful Cathedral cloisters into an interactive field of illuminated flowers, which light and highlight the paths of their visitors, devised by Canadian architect Rami Bebawi.

Dynamic ribbons of coloured light will wrap themselves around the landscape of the College area surrounding the Cathedral in Horizontal Interference, a work created by Polish artists, Katarzyna Malejka and Joachim Slugock. A fairy tale structure studded with tens of thousands of tiny LED lights, created by Italian architectural lighting team Luminarie de Cagna will turn Market Place into a sparkling spectacle while Saddler Street and Silver Street will be transformed by a series of glittering arches.

Over twenty light and sound installations by a collective of artists make up For the Birds, a reimagination of the Durham University Botanic Garden, which will take visitors on a meditative and immersive journey in through the wilderness. From the serene to the spectacular, a vast kinetic fire installation, Fire Tornado by Ivo Schoofs (Holland) will burn furious and bright and delight visitors. What Matters, created by Shuster & Moseley (UK) consists of two immersive light and glass installations at St Oswald's Church and Courtyard. Inside the church, thousands of hand-blown glass pieces depict the birth of light in the universe. In the churchyard, glass bubbles hover in galaxies, suspended in space amongst the trees.

From large to small-scale, Lumiere will light up all corners of Durham City. The programme includes the permanent installation, Lightbench, Bernd Spieker's unique LED-lit resting point at Framwellgate Waterside which transforms the concept of public seating, while The Umbrella Project will be constantly on the move. Created by Cirque Bijou (UK), an artistic collective that transgresses the boundary between circus, street theatre and spectacle, this choreographed
performance involving local people, will pop up at different locations across the festival footprint.

Additional programme highlights

In his first major UK commission, Spanish artist, Pablo Valbuena will transform the interior and exterior of Durham's world famous Cathedral with Methods. Inspired by the tradition of English Change Ringing, which dates back to the 17th century, Methods visualises bellringing patterns in light, moving across the entire Cathedral building in time to the structured sequence of the bells. Led by Durham Cathedral's Bell Major, Christopher Crabtree, bands of bellringers from the North East and beyond will perform live throughout the festival.

Experts in video mapping, Shared Space and Light (UK) have created Common Good, a moving and powerful 3D video work inspired by the everyday working lives of public sector workers from Durham. The installation will see images of 70 public service workers, from firefighters and refuse workers to teachers and police officers, projected onto the facade of Durham's historic Miners' Hall at Redhills.

The faces of local people from all walks of life are at the heart of a new work by British artist, Hannah Fox. Our Moon will be projected onto the walls of Durham Castle, one of the city's most famous landmarks. Created with the participation of 66 people aged from 5 to 78, the unique facial characteristics of the volunteers were captured digitally, informing Fox's delicate hand-drawn illustration which will illuminate the castle over the four nights of the festival.

The BRILLIANT commissioning strand will also showcase the work from five local artists as part of the festival, including Aidan Moesby and Amy-Rose Welch, who takes Durham Cathedral for her inspiration. Emma Boyes' creation at Durham railway station also draws on the heritage of the North East, showing The Angel of the North, Durham Cathedral, Penshaw Monument, St. Mary's Lighthouse and the Baltic Flour Mill, all illuminated in miniature. Chris Plant's soothing meditation will connect colour, sound, light and texture through a new work that seeks to piece together our fragmented world, and Finola Finn will suspend a throbbing red heart as her work Know Thyself illuminates the inside of The Count's House.

To coincide with the fifth edition of Lumiere, Artichoke will host a one-day conference in association with Durham County Council and supported by the European Commission. Entitled Who are we and where are we headed? The conference will take place on Friday 17th November at Durham's Gala Theatre. Building on the success of the 2013 and 2015 conferences, this year's line-up presents a range of visionary and renowned speakers, including Tony Heaton OBE and Judith Knight MBE, who will share their experiences, expertise and opinions on our changing world. Conference tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite: Eventbrite (Lumiere conference Who are we and where are we headed?).

Festival programmes are £2 and available from Tuesday 17th October from all County Durham ticketing outlets and the Gala Theatre in Durham city. They will also be available from the Lumiere Visitor Hub from Saturday 11th November when the Hub opens, and at key locations in the city during the festival four nights. lumiere-festival.com.
As in previous years, the central Peninsula area will be ticketed nightly between the peak hours of 4.30 and 7.30pm to help manage the large numbers expected and ensure a more comfortable audience experience. The rest of the festival outside the central Peninsula area will be accessible to visit at any time without a ticket and everyone will be able to enter thecentral Peninsula area without a ticket after 7.30pm. Tickets will be available from 17 October at council outlets across the county. Please see www.durham.gov.uk/lumiere for in person ticket collections.

Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council said: "In just a few weeks time our 'perfect little city' will be transformed once again into a spectacular, extraordinary, mesmerising and fascinating place of light. Illuminating our history and heritage, landscapes and architecture in ways we could never imagine this year's line-up looks set to be another truly global event. It gives us immense pleasure to welcome the world to Durham and to shine a light on our many wonderful people and places."

Helen Marriage, Artichoke Director, said: "Artichoke is thrilled to be back in Durham for the fifth edition of Lumiere and I cannot thank all our funders and partners enough for their support in making the festival possible once again. This festival is a very special thing, built on our longterm partnership with the city and its people. From the participation of local residents in the creation of the artworks to Durham County Council's unbending support for the festival, it is
this sense of civic pride in Lumiere that informs and reflects the programme at every level."

Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, Durham University, said: "Durham University makes a significant contribution to the cultural, social and economic life of Durham and the wider North East. Lumiere is a brilliant opportunity to engage new audiences in the University's research and wider work through culture and educational outreach and we are hugely proud to be a major partner of what is one of the region's cultural highlights."

Jane Tarr, Director North, Arts Council England, said: "Light festivals have grown in popularity in recent years and a number are now held across the North but Lumiere has a special place in the calendar. Durham really feels like Lumiere's home and the festival is immensely popular with local people and communities as well as attendees from around the world. I'm delighted that we continue to support Lumiere and I'm looking forward to seeing
how this year's exciting installations transform the city."

The following Installations are kindly supported by:

  • The Common Good, Shared Space & Light, supported by County Durham Housing Group, Prince Bishops Homes
  • Northern Lights, Emma Boyes, supported by Virgin Trains
  • Fire Tornado, Ivo Schoofs, supported by Milburngate
  • Anonymous, LDCOL, supported by Walkergate
  • Our Moon, Hannah Fox, supported by EMG Solicitors and Durham AAP
  • Dome and Arches, Luminarie de Cagna, supported by Thorn
  • Control no Control, Daniel Iregui, supported by Prince Bishops Shopping Centre
  • Drawn in Light, Ralf Westerhof, supported by The Royal Netherlands Embassy
  • Methods, Pablo Valbuena, supported by Sevcon and Technicians make it happen
  • Entre les rangs, Rami Bebawi, supported by Chester-le-Street AAP
  • Horizontal Interference, Katarzyna Malejka and Joachim Slugock, supported by Alumno and Polish Cultural Institute
  • Cosmoscope, Simeon Nelson, supported by Wellcome and Durham University
  • Cosmic Architecture, Nina Dunn and John Del' Nero supported by Durham University
  • For the Birds, A collective of artists, supported by Durham University and Children and the Arts
  • The Umbrella Project, Cirque Bijou, supported by County Durham Community Foundation and East Durham Creates
  • Lightbench, Bernd Spiecker, LBO, supported by Banks Community Fund
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