And Then There Was Light: Lumiere Festival, Durham City


FOR  four days in November, Paris will have the title “city of lights” stolen from it by Durham City, when light festival Lumiere comes to town.

Organised by Artichoke, the event showcases light installations and projections from dozens of artists that will illuminate the city’s famed Cathedral as well as various buildings, streets and bridges.

“Some of the highlights include an astonishing and awe-inspiring fire installation inside and around Durham Cathedral by French company Carabosse, and a vast illuminated waterfall by Canadian artist Peter Lewis,” says Artichoke co-director Nicky Webb.

"Crown of Light" by Ross Ashton for LUMIERE 2009, photo by Jon Gisby

“Crown of Light” by Ross Ashton for LUMIERE 2009, photo by Jon Gisby

“We involve local people in the festival, so there will be a wonderful opening lantern parade with more than 200 children and young people who have worked with Jo Pocock’s Liverpool Lantern Company to make their river-themed lanterns, and there are several local artists who have been commissioned to make work for the festival. Tracey Emin has lent one of her neon works, as has Martin Creed, Tim Etchells and Claire Fontaine.”

This is Lumiere’s second year with the inaugural event in 2009 attracting 75,000 visitors. Between 6pm and 11pm each evening the installations will be switched on, creating a breathtaking tableau across the city. Combining the city’s history with contemporary art creates a fairytale like atmosphere.

“The festival plays on this contrast between old and new… the installations bring alive often un-noticed buildings and bridges, and even vegetation, making people re-visit the familiar, and see it with new eyes.,” says Nikki.

The best place for viewing is across the river to the north where visitors will be able to take in the sight of the cathedral, bridge and medieval castle together and watch as the lights transform their majestic features.

Lumiere will take place from November 17 to 20.

For more information, click here.

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