Permanent Lumiere legacy artwork unveiled as countdown for next spectacular begins

Heron by artist Jon Voss. Photo by Paul Norris
Heron by artist Jon Voss. Photo by Paul Norris
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Preparations are in full swing for next year’s Lumiere spectacular in Durham.

Lumiere returns with a Director’s Cut of past festival favourites for a 10th anniversary edition from November 14-17, 2019.

Heron was unveiled last night on the banks of the River Wear

Heron was unveiled last night on the banks of the River Wear

To mark the 12-month countdown to next year’s festival, a permanent installation of Lumiere artwork Heron has been unveiled on the River Wear near Freeman’s Quay.

Created by artist Jon Voss, the installation was designed as a homage to one of England’s most magnificent birds, which are often seen along the banks of the River Wear and was permanently acquired for the city through the Banks Community Fund.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, said: “As a longstanding County Durham-based business, we are proud to be helping to further extend Lumiere’s local cultural legacy by enabling the eye-catching Heron to become a permanent part of the Durham City landscape.

“This is the third permanent Lumiere installation that we have supported through the Banks Community Fund, following Helvetictoc at Clayport Library and Lightbench at Freeman’s Quay, and we believe they all make a positive, long-lasting contribution to both local residents’ and visitors’ enjoyment of our wonderful city.”

Since 2009, Lumiere has become a leading light in the cultural calendar of the North East with a worldwide reputation for excellence.

Visitors to the 2019 anniversary edition can expect to see exciting new commissions created by UK and international artists, alongside some of the festival’s most memorable installations from the past decade.

The full line-up will be announced closer to the time.

Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke, who organise Lumiere, said: “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”.

Sarah Coop, Artichoke’s development director added: “This has only been possible with the help and support of local sponsors and funders large and small. What is so wonderful about Lumiere Durham is that it is a massive community effort.

“Everyone comes together to make it happen. We are calling on local business to support this spectacular anniversary edition and become proud partners in this event which offers a showcase to the world”.

The festival, which contributes significantly to the local economy, experienced a record 240,000 visitors in 2017 across an expanded footprint, with more than half of the installations located outside the central peninsula area.