Hope artwork guides the way as 100th anniversary of Armistice Day inspires show

HOPE in Millennium Place in Durham City.
HOPE in Millennium Place in Durham City.

Faith, humanity and the resilience of North East people during the First World War have inspired a new art installation.

Commissioned by Durham County Council, HOPE is a large-scale text sculpture featuring hundreds of colour-changing LED tubes, along with speakers projecting local people’s experiences of the conflict.

Artists Gloria Ronchi and Claudio Benghi, of Aether & Hemera, with their artwork.

Artists Gloria Ronchi and Claudio Benghi, of Aether & Hemera, with their artwork.

It will has been lit up in time for Remembrance Day and will remain outside of the Gala Theatre in Millennium Place until Thursday.

Created by Newcastle-based art and design studio Aether & Hemera, the artwork is designed to be fully immersive, with its colourful tubes symbolising the power of hope to spread light no matter how dark life becomes.

Many of the stories retold through HOPE are contained within letters, diaries and memoirs preserved at Durham County Record Office.

They are also immortalised within The Durham Hymns, a poignant musical tribute, which will be performed at the Gala Theatre tomorrow.

Artists Gloria Ronchi and Claudio Benghi have designed the piece, which will remain in place in Durham until Thursday.

Artists Gloria Ronchi and Claudio Benghi have designed the piece, which will remain in place in Durham until Thursday.

Councillor Ossie Johnson, cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues at Durham County Council, said: “You can’t under estimate the power of hope to lift the spirit
when life gets difficult. During the First World War, our communities experienced great hardship and unimaginable loss but they kept on going.

“This artwork pays tribute to that resilience and honours those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“As the home of Lumiere, Durham has a reputation for bringing spectacular light installations to the region, and HOPE is easily one of the most beautiful and meaningful creations to date.”

HOPE will be lit up between 8.30am and 10pm each day.

Performances of The Durham Hymns take place on Remembrance Day at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £25 or £23 for concessions.

To book, call 03000 266 600 or visit www.galadurham.co.uk