Magpie Anthology

Lumiere Durham: A Photo Essay

Lumiere is the UK’s favourite light show and has been transforming cities across the UK since 2009 when the first Lumiere Durham was organised. This is Ivor Robinson’s photo essay of the show.

Each Lumiere festival invites local and international artists to create works that reimagine familiar buildings and public spaces, changing the way we experience our urban surroundings. Lumiere is produced by Artichoke, creators of extraordinary art in unusual places. Artichoke works with UK and international artists to produce large-scale artworks and events that live in the memory forever. We aim to inspire and transform people’s lives by changing the way they see the world through art, bringing communities across the UK and beyond together in learning and participation projects, and leaving a legacy of skills and newfound potential behind.  The first Lumiere light festival took place in Durham in 2009. Originally planned as a one-off, with the support of Durham County Council and other sponsors, producers Artichoke have brought the event back to the North East every other year since then.

Lumiere is a light festival that offers something for everyone. In 2017, a record 240,000 visitors went to Lumiere in Durham enjoying a programme that mixed family-friendly interactive installations with groundbreaking artistic commissions such as Pablo Valbuena’s Methods and Adam Frelin’s White Line, 3-D video-mapping, stand alone light sculptures, neons, a kinetic fire installation, and a flashmob of illuminated umbrellas dancing unexpectedly through the cobbled streets.

There are always plenty of opportunities for local people to get involved in the festival, from applying to the BRILLIANT competition with an idea for a light work, to being part of installations like Our Moon, and volunteering to be part of the fun as a Lumiere festival maker. Over the last ten years, our producers and artists have worked with thousands of local people and schoolchildren in Lumiere projects, including making work with some of the county’s prison population. Lumiere has also travelled to other cities in the UK. In 2013, Lumiere Derry~Londonderry was the finale to the first UK City of Culture celebrations. Huge audiences enjoyed a dazzling programme including Compagnie Carabosse’s Fire Garden in St Columb’s Park and a giant game of consequences video-mapped onto Ebrington Clocktower by Ocubo.

For more information and to look forward to the 2020 show click HERE

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