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Lumiere Light Festival, 2017, Durham, UK


Back in Durham for the fifth time...

Artists from around the world illuminated the city in delightful and unexpected ways, with a series of light installations to explore.

Over 240,000 people visited Lumiere 2017 over the four nights of the festival, many of whom explored the outer reaches of the footprint to discover some of the most popular artworks such as What Matters, Cosmic Architecture, and For The Birds.

Since its inception in 2009, Lumiere has transformed Durham City into a nocturnal art gallery every two years. For the 2017 edition, 29 spectacular artworks and installations created an illuminated trail right across the city. Iconic Durham landmarks were amongst the sites transformed by art, including the city’s historic Cathedral which Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena turned into a vast synchronised artwork of sound and light. The beautiful Miners’ Hall at Redhills was brought to life by an exciting 3-D video-mapped piece by Shared Space & Light, featuring real-life stories from the workers in the police, fire and health services. Visitor favourites included the mesmerising Frequencies by Finnish artist Kari Kola, that stretched along the Riverside under the Cathedral up to Durham Castle and For The Birds in Durham University’s Botanic Garden, an enchanting collection of more than twenty light and sound installations inspired by birdlife.


Families enjoyed the interactive installations at Walkergate, Prince Bishops Shopping Centre and Millennium Place, where hundreds tweeted their “love” for Lumiere in response to Aidan Moesby’s periodic table of emotions: Sagacity. At Milburngate, the vast kinetic fire installation, Fire Tornado by Ivo Schoofs drew enthusiastic crowds, whilst others contemplated quieter more serene works, such as Drawn in Light at Elvet Bridge, What Matters at St Oswald’s, and White Line by Adam Frelin, a deceptively simple installation that elegantly retraced a former bridge over the River Wear.

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