Lumiere festival of light for Durham

Brighter, bigger, bolder: Lumiere, Durham’s light festival, returns to create another breathtaking nocturnal landscape this winter

Producers of extraordinary events, Artichoke, has announced the second edition of Lumiere, from 17-20 November 2011. This year’s festival programme will include a raft of new works by internationally renowned artists, and a brand new strand of commissions from local artists and creative people, ‘Brilliant’. Lumiere has been commissioned by Durham County Council, and is supported by Arts Council England.

In 2009, the inaugural edition of Lumiere drew an estimated 75,000 people into the city over four nights, and generated some £1.5million for the local economy. More than 20 artworks, projections and performances set Durham ablaze, picking out and transforming the landmarks, streets, river and bridges of the city in new and unimagined ways.

Artists included Ron Haselden, Daan Roosegaarde, the British-based collective UVA, projection artist Ross Ashton, eminent lighting designer Mark Major, London-based studio Creatmosphere, and French theatrical magicians Quidams, with a magical performance that led a huge audience through the city streets.

Lumiere will return to Durham in November 2011 to showcase all the possible uses of light that artists can imagine. Festival producers Artichoke have travelled the world to find the most exciting and innovative installations and performances for the city’s audience. Witty, playful and imaginative – the festival aims to delight and surprise its audience and to stop people in their tracks. The programme will be announced Summer 2011.

In 2011, the producers are also looking much closer to home with a commissioning programme for ideas from local artists and creative people. Artichoke has joined forces with NewcastleGateshead Initiative to offer a number of opportunities for people based in, or originally from, the North East of England. Up to £40,000 is available to support these commissions, which will be showcased throughout the festival in a new strand called ‘Brilliant’.

Helen Marriage, co-director of Artichoke says: ‘In choosing the programme for Lumiere, I visit festivals all over the world. I am struck by how the simplest idea, the smallest intervention, often has the greatest impact. We’re hoping that through this open call for ideas we encounter some of these really special possibilities that will be liberally sprinkled throughout the Lumiere programme.  And applicants don’t have to have any previous experience – the strength of the idea will be enough for us to fund the project .’

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