By Naomi Clarke
Lumière has released that the 10th anniversary of the light festival will be held in Durham between 14th-17th November 2019. Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council Lumière, has stated that it “promises to be another spectacular event” upon announcing the dates for next year’s festival.
The hugely popular light festival has an extra-special programme in the works to celebrate the works of art from across the years and its ever-increasing popularity.
Lumière is the UK’s largest light festival which began in Durham in 2009. Every other year, the festival transforms the old cobbled streets and historic buildings into a spectacular prism of technicolour through light installations which are dispersed throughout the city.
“Lumière has been really important for County Durham over the past ten years”
The festival is led by the leading, London-based arts charity Artichoke and it ‘invites local and international artists to create works that reimagine buildings and public spaces, changing the way we experience our environment and the dark, winter nights.’
The installations range from ‘large-scale projections, interactive creations and mind-blowing installations’ alongside ‘more contemplative artworks.’ This special anniversary exhibition will contain past festival favourites and a host of new commissions.
Helen Marriage, Director of Artichoke, remarked: “It’s exciting to be planning for this 10th-anniversary edition and I’m especially looking forward to selecting my “Director’s Cut” from previous festivals. Over the last decade, around 150 artworks made by hundreds of artists and technicians have created a magical journey of discovery through the cityscape, involving thousands of community participants”.
The Durham County Council commissioned festival generates an incredible amount of tourism for the historic city of Durham as 2017 alone saw 240,000 visitors from local areas and from farther afield. This footfall is greatly beneficial for the local economy and status of the city.
To mark the one-year countdown, Lumière installed Durham’s newest permanent public sculpture, the ‘Heron’ on the 13th of November. The elegant artwork was created by Jon Voss and will ‘glow in soft luminescence’, illuminating the banks of the River Wear.
Voss designed the pieces as a homage to one of England’s most magnificent birds as they are often perched along the banks of the River Wear – it celebrates the beauty of nature in the heart of the city. The permanent acquisition of this work has been made possible through the generous support of the Banks Community Fund.
“Lumière 2019 promises to be another spectacular event”
Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, noted: “Lumière has been really important for County Durham over the past ten years, attracting tens of thousands of visitors and bringing millions of pounds into the economy. Its programme of community engagement has also ensured that residents from across the county are not only able to enjoy the festival but also have the opportunity to get directly involved in it.
“I am very much looking forward to Lumière 2019, which promises to be another spectacular event. Although the programme has yet to be announced, Heron is the perfect reminder of what we can expect next year.”
Photography: Naomi Clarke and Paul Norris