First look at what to expect from this year's Lumiere in Durham city as spectacular programme is revealed

It’s been announced which artworks will dazzle visitors to this year’s Lumiere spectacular.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 6:52 pm
CLOUD, Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett, Lumiere Durham 2015. Produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews

The bi-annual light show returns to Durham City next month for its 10th anniversary, which will wow people for four nights from November 14-17.

Highlights will include a giant slinky, a piano-powered projection, a monumental snowdome and a fog sculpture cascading across the River Wear in striking installations from artists as far afield as Canada, Japan and New Zealand, as well as home-grown talent.

For the most ambitious edition of Lumiere yet, a selection of favourite artworks from previous festivals will sit alongside a host of new commissions by international artists and fresh talent from the North East.

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I LOVE DURHAM, Jacques Rival, LUMIERE 2011, produced by Artichoke in Durham. Photo Matthew Andrews A playful take on the unpopular Marquess of Londonderry who is trapped inside a monumental snow dome.

In total, there will be 37 artworks spread across the city, which visitors will be able to navigate using a new Lumiere app.

Created by Artichoke, the festival is free to attend but tickets will need to be obtained.

Artworks will include:

*Stones by artist collective Tigrelab Art (Spain) is a shape-shifting video-mapped projection onto the facade of Durham Cathedral, that visitors can change using stone tablets.

A slinky artwork will feature

*Inspired by the coloured tiles that characterise so many Portuguese cities, Human Tiles by Ocubo (Portugal) will transform the exterior of Gala Theatre & Cinema into a kaleidoscope of projected patterns created in response to the movements of visitors’ bodies in real-time.

*Geometrical Traces by Javier Riera (Spain) will illuminate the city’sriversidetree canopies in a mesmerising new work that draws upon mathematical patterns found in nature.

*Deepa Mann-Kler (UK) brings her glowing balloon dog sculptures Neon Dogs previously seen at Lumiere London, as well as a new work similarly inspired by pop culture.

*Shoefiti draws upon the urban phenomenon of shoe tossing, with over 150 illuminated shoes strung along Durham’s streets in a playful nod to this mischievous practice.

For the Birds by A Collective of Artists, part of Lumiere Durham 2017, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council. Photo: Matthew Andrews

*Squidsoup (UK)’s extraordinary immersive work Wave – featuring 500 orbs of light and 500 voices – comes to the festival direct from its first exhibition at Burning Man in the Nevada desert earlier this year.

*Piano players of all ages will have the chance to see their music-making transformed into shape-shifting patterns on the facade of Rushford Court for Keys of Light by Mr.Beam (Netherlands).

Lumiere 2019 will see the return of many past favourites from throughout the festival’s history. Two artworks from the very first edition of the festival will be making a comeback – Echelle, the pink neon ladder by Ron Haselden (UK/France), will appear in its original location on Saddler Street, whilst Bottle Festoon will pop up across the city.

The giant glittering snow globe I Love Durham by Jacques Rival (France) joins the atmospheric sculpture Cloud, formed from 6,000 incandescent light bulbs by Caitland r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett (Canada).

Harmonic Portal by Chris Plant, part of Lumiere Durham 2017, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council. Photo: Matthew Andrews

Fire alchemists Compagnie Carabosse (France) return to illuminate Durham Cathedral and its surrounding grounds with Spirit, whilst Newcastle based creative studio NOVAK (UK) will once again transform Durham Castle into a fairytale village with Fool’s Paradise.

The River Wear will welcome back Fogscape #03238, the mysterious nocturnal fog sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya (Japan) and Simon Corder (UK), whilst the majestic Mysticète by Top’là Design/Catherine Garret (France) will resurface upstream near Pennyferry Bridge.

What you need to know

*Lumiere is open each night between 4.30pm and 11pm. The festival is completely free to attend and 26 of the 37 installations are accessible without a ticket at all times.

*As in previous years, a peak-time ticketing system will be in operation for access into the central peninsula area between 4.30pm and 7.30pm each evening to allow visitors to have a comfortable experience. No-one needs a ticket to visit any area of the festival outside of peak hours.

*Free peak-time tickets will be available from 10am on Monday, October 28.

Neon Dogs, Deepa Mann-Kler, Lumiere Derry~Londonderry 2013, Produced by Artichoke, Commissioned by UK City of Culture 2013, photograph by Chris Hill

They can be obtained online from the Lumiere website ( or from one of the 11 ticketing sites around the county:

● The Gala Theatre & Cinema

● Chester-Le-Street Library

● Stanley Library

● Consett Library

● Seaham Library

● Peterlee Library

● Spennymoor Leisure Centre

● Crook Library

● Woodhouse Close Leisure Centre

● Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre

● Barnard Castle Library

You can obtain a maximum of six tickets per household across all four nights and this includes children unless they are carried in a baby carrier/sling. Tickets are not available by telephone.

This year a new Lumiere app is available, powered by This is Durham with support from Light Up the North, to help guide visitors around the festival and make the most of their visit to Durham. It can be downloaded for free from the Apple app store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).