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Captivating Light Sculptures Invade Durham

Will Be by Tim Etchells

Over the weekend in the North East of England in a city called Durham, the Lumiere festival took place commissioned by Artichoke, who like to bring art out of the galleries and onto the streets. Lumiere is a festival of light where artists and designers working with light showcase their work in installations and exhibitions set in and around this pretty town that sits on the River Wear and is home to a Norman cathedral and castle.

The town was a perfect backdrop for the spectacular light show featuring celestial human sculptures, neon signs, snow globes, generative LED panels, illuminated waterfalls and lots of other magical stuff that made the whole town look like a dazzling explosion of awesomeness.

Below are some of the illuminations that were on show.

Fire alchemists Compagnie Carabosse’s Spirit, an installation inside and out of Durham Cathedral featured candles, lanterns, lighted threads, beacons and a garden filled with garlands of flame pots and other structures laced with fire.


Artist Cédric Le Borgne’s spectral light sculptures Les Voyageurs floated about inhabiting various parts of the city like guardians from another reality.


Canadian artist Peter Lewis turned Kingsgate footbridge, designed by engineer Ove Arup, into an illuminated ethereal waterfall in Splash.


LAb[au], who held a workshop at our Paris event created Binary Waves, which captured electromagnetic waves generated within the city using infrared sensors and turned them into a shifting display across 40 LED panels.


A controversial statue of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (he was a bit of a brute) in the city square was turned into a playful children’s snow globe in Jacques Rival’s I Love Durham.


Leonardo MeigasHartmann Grid gave visual form to the natural radiation that surrounds us, the flow of the colors representing how radiation moves over the earth forming a grid.


Deadgood Studio created Rainbow using over 250 specialist pieces of lighting equipment. The full spectrum of colors shined onto the walkway of Durham’s Prebends Bridge so people could bask in its chromatic splendor.

Images © Matthew Andrews

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