Finalists selected in search for Durham Lumiere artists

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CREATIVE minds have been chosen to showcase their talents at a celebration which is expected to draw in tens of thousands of people.

Lumiere producers Artichoke will stage the light festival for the third time in Durham this autumn.

The team has now announced its final selection in the competition it is running to challenge artists from the region to make pieces to put on display.

The four projects selected as part of the Brilliant competition are by teacher Beth J Ross, a Durham University graduate who lives in the city, whose work has been inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels; Sarah Blood, a mixed-media artist who went to Sunderland University, returning to earn a masters in glass; Stephen Newby, who uses metals, and Matt Sayle and Stu Langley, who run Twist Design and have worked with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.

The successful proposals were selected on artistic merit, as well as how each would develop the skills of the artists involved.

The Brilliant artists will have their work commissioned and showcased alongside atmospheric new light sculptures and installations by British and international artists.

Hannah Standen, Artichoke associate producer, said: “We’ve had an amazing response to the call for Brilliant proposals and the judges have been impressed by how hard everyone has worked.

“The winning proposals are especially appealing as they each draw for their inspiration on aspects very close to County Durham’s heart, yet all in very different ways. I’m really looking forward to working with the Brilliant winners to help them develop their ideas for this year’s Lumiere.”

Alison Clark-Jenkins is regional director of the Arts Council England which is among the festival’s backers. She said: “Brilliant is a fantastic initiative, giving people from the North East the opportunity to contribute to Lumiere in Durham. I am sure these four new commissions will help make it the best yet.”

In 2011, more than 150,000 people visited the UK’s largest light festival and has been held every two years since it first ran in 2009. It is said to have injected £4.3million into the economy.

This year’s will run for four nights from Thursday, November 14, with the programme to be announced in June.

For more details, visit www.lumiere-festival.com.