Full Lumiere 2021 programme revealed as the light festival returns to County Durham

Organisers have released the full programme for their most ambitious and far-reaching edition of Lumiere yet.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 10:35 am

The turbulence of the past 18 months is addressed in several works, from memorial to optimistic opening, while the overarching issue of climate change and its environmental impact are huge influences on Lumiere artists this year.

Artichoke, who organise the event, have announced a programme that extends beyond the City of Durham and into the wider county for the first time ever.

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The Lumiere festival will return to County Durham in November, with In Our Hearts Blind Hope, Palma Studio, on the city's cathedral.

The ‘Marks in the Landscape’ will see artwork located at Finchale Priory, Penshaw Monument, Raby Castle, Ushaw Historic House and Gardens, Peterlee and Seaham Marina.

Lumiere is also collaborating with leading poets for the first time, with commissions from ten of the UK’s most exciting poets and will see their new work projected onto the ancient walls of Durham Castle.

Helen Marriage, Director of Artichoke, said: “It has been an extraordinary and unimaginable two years since we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Lumiere.

As a first for the festival, artwork will be shown across the wider region.

“None of us could have foreseen the pandemic from the perspective of 2019 and the trauma and disruption that it would visit on our communities.

"This year’s festival is therefore very special, not least because there has been so much uncertainty around whether or not we would be able to make it happen.

“So we begin by saying this is a celebration. And all the more so with the exciting news that County Durham has been longlisted for City of Culture 2025.

"It’s also an affirmation of the strength of the amazing partnerships and collaborations Lumiere has built across County Durham over the last ten years: with our Commissioner Durham County Council, major partner Durham University, within the local community, and with all of our partners who have demonstrated such faith, confidence and resilience during the long planning process in the production of this event."

Many pieces on display will be a nod back to the last 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and other key issues.

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Councillor Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, added: “As the UK’s leading light festival, Lumiere has truly put County Durham on the map and is a shining example of how culture enhances the vibrancy of our communities.

“It also demonstrates the scale of our cultural ambitions, which are driving forward the Durham 2025 campaign and no doubt helped to secure our place on the UK City of Culture 2025 longlist.

“Lumiere’s return is all the more special this year, as it is the first-time the installations will be spread across the county, making it even easier for our residents to enjoy the magic of the festival.”

Visitors will be able to take part in new experiences when visiting Lumiere 2021.

Lumiere is open each night between 4.30pm and 11pm, with the county programme operating between 4.30pm and 10pm.

In a change to previous years, the controlled city centre area of Lumiere will be ticketed for entirety of the festival opening times to manage audience numbers as part of measures to offer a Covid secure experience.

For full details, including how to buy tickets for the event, visit lumiere-festival.com.

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