Durham Lumiere exhibits revealed for 2023

By

Over 35 exhibitions for Durham’s biennial festival of light, Lumiere, have been revealed. Locations for this year’s festival from the 16th-19th November include the iconic Durham Cathedral and across Durham University’s campus.

The festival, which is the UK’s first light art biennial exhibition, has attracted over one million visitors since its inception in 2009, and is committed to showcasing spectacular lightworks by artists and collectives from across the world.

This year, visitors can expect to encounter an eclectic range of illuminated artworks inspired by Durham’s own religious architecture, string theory, Indian mythology, and British Sign Language (BSL) – to name just a few.

Sustainability has been a key factor in the planning of this year’s Lumiere; technical suppliers were chosen based on their commitment to reducing carbon emissions and A Greener Future will also be assessing the carbon impact of the exhibition with a view to further reducing carbon emissions in future Lumiere productions.

We’ve worked with the people of Durham for fifteen years and constantly marvel at the city’s willingness to facilitate the wildest imaginings of our cohort of artists”

HELEN MARRIAGE

The four-day event, which in 2021 contributed a significant £9.6 million to the local economy, has been regularly commissioned every two years by Durham County Council. Councillor Amanda Hopgood, has emphasised the role of Lumiere in promoting County Durham as “the culture county” in recent years.

Helen Marriage, Artistic Director of Artichoke, the producers of Lumiere, said: “Artichoke is always determined to reimagine and reinvent the familiar, and this year’s Lumiere is no exception. The programme is even more ambitious with the work of some of the world’s greatest contemporary artists finding its place amongst the beautiful architecture of Lumiere’s home city.

“We’ve worked with the people of Durham for fifteen years and constantly marvel at the city’s willingness to facilitate the wildest imaginings of our cohort of artists.”

Within the Cathedral itself, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will be bringing Topology (2021) to the nave, where the light of thousands of bulbs will be generated by the recording of visitors’ heartbeats”

This year’s illuminated extravaganza will feature artworks such as Anselm Reyle’s exhibit, Untitled (2023), suspended underneath Framwellgate Bridge. The piece utilises spare tubing materials from industrial worksites to produce reflections in the river, intended to evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Chila Burman MBE, will also be bringing her trademark neon lightwork to Durham City’s Market Place in her piece, Hurts So Good (2023), in which she explores female empowerment, Indian mythologies, and the legacies of colonial Britain.

Situated at the top of Durham’s North Bailey, Palace Green will play host to Spanish artist, Javier Riera’s Liquid Geometry (2023), a three-dimensional projected artwork intended to highlight the architectural qualities of the surrounding buildings, and which has been supported by Durham University.

Within the Cathedral itself, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will be bringing Topology (2021) to the nave, where the light of thousands of bulbs will be generated by the recording of visitors’ heartbeats. In the Chapter House, Ai Weiwei will display his Illuminated Bottle Rack (2018), inspired by Marcel Duchamp and featuring 61 antique chandeliers. On top of this, US artist, Adam Frelin, will be reproducing the cloister arches of the Cathedral in light form, illuminating the walkways of visitors as they pass through.

Across the River Wear and on Church Street in St Oswald’s Churchyard, Martin Glover’s piece, Signed Light (2023), which was produced by Lumiere’s own small-scale commissioning scheme, BRILLIANT, encourages visitors to learn basic BSL through five signs which fingerspell ‘light’.

Wrap up warm, head out into the night and be ready to be inspired”

KAREN O’BRIEN

St Mary’s College grounds will also feature in the festival; Edoardo Tresoldi’s piece, Sacral (2021) will be viewable from the college’s terrace, and will showcase an ethereal light tracing the outline of the Cathedral, inspired by Dante’s Noble Castle of Limbo.

In addition, Durham University are also supporting Daniel Canogar’s Universal Loom (2023), which will project a digital woven fabric onto the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics; the very place from which the artwork’s inspiration stems, out of discussion with Professor Carlos Frenk of the Institute of Computational Cosmology over the controversy of string theory.

Lumiere is funded by Durham County Council, and receives additional support from Durham University and Arts Council England, amongst several others.

Karen O’Brien, Vice-Chancellor and Warden of Durham University, commented that: “Lumiere is one of the great cultural highlights of the year, and the programme for this year’s light art biennial is the most ambitious yet.”

She added: “We are proud to be sponsoring and co-hosting Lumiere. Whether you’ve been to every Lumiere or you’ve never been before: wrap up warm, head out into the night and be ready to be inspired.’.

Lumiere will be free to access across Durham City for ticketholders at peak times from 4:30-7:30pm and non-ticketholders from 7:30-11:00pm.

Tickets are available from the Lumiere website: https://www.lumiere-festival.com

Image:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.