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Counting down to Lumiere 2017

(9 November 2017)

Know Thyself, by Durham University PhD student Finola Finn

The clock is ticking down to the UK’s biggest light festival which returns to Durham for the fifth time from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 November.

Durham University is proud to be a major partner of Lumiere 2017 which is once again set to illuminate the City.

Lumiere is produced by Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council, with additional support from Arts Council England, Durham University and a raft of partners and sponsors.

Durham research

Durham’s research is behind a number of Lumiere’s spectacular installations, some of which are also being hosted by the University. These include:

  • Cosmic Architecture, Lower Mountjoy (University Science Site), a spectacular new son et lumiere by Nina Dunn and John Del’ Nero, projected on to architect Daniel Liebeskind’s new building for the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics.
  • What Matters, two immersive light and glass installations in St Oswald’s Church and Courtyard, based on the work of the University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, in collaboration with students at the University of Sunderland and The National Glass Centre, Sunderland.
  • Cosmoscope, based in the Crown Court Gardens, an awe-inspiring journey from the tiny to the infinite in this exploration of what it is to be human, which is again inspired by the work of Durham’s cosmologists, alongside scientists from the University of Oxford and UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging.
  • For the Birds, a meditative and immersive journey through the University’s Botanic Garden to discover over 20 light and sound installations.
  • Our Moon, featuring the unique facial characteristics of local people, which will be projected on to the walls of Durham Castle, home to University College.
  • Know Thyself, a throbbing red heart that will illuminate the inside of The Count’s House on Durham’s riverbanks, created by BRILLIANT winner and History PhD student, Finola Finn.

Find out more about the University's involvement.

Cultural highlight

Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer at Durham University, said: “Lumiere 2017 promises to be spectacular and we are delighted to be a major partner of what is one of the City’s cultural highlights.

“The anticipation is building and we look forward to not only showcasing our research through a number of the magnificent installations, but also in welcoming visitors to Lumiere to the University.”

Helen Marriage, CEO Artichoke, said: “Keeping the Lumiere programme fresh and exciting each time we return presents plenty of challenges.

“With this fifth Lumiere festival, we are pushing the boundaries again with extraordinary new works by major international artists alongside works made by and with local people. We try really hard to ensure that every story we tell is embedded in some way within the bigger story of Durham and the North East, which in turn will tell that story to the world.”

Exciting, extraordinary, entertaining

Durham County Council Leader, Cllr Simon Henig, said: “Lumiere is without doubt the most exciting, extraordinary, entertaining and spectacular event we host and I can’t wait to see our City shine on a world stage once again.

“As always the illuminations look set to thrill the tens of thousands of people we anticipate will attend. I look forward to welcoming residents and visitors to the UK’s largest light festival in the City in which it was born.”

For the full Lumiere programme, information about souvenirs and purchasing a festival guide, visit the Lumiere 2017 website. The latest travel news and parking information is available from Durham County Council or by following updates on Twitter and Facebook via the #Lumieredurham hashtag.

* Durham University Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart Corbridge will be among the speakers at a conference to coincide with Lumiere 2017.

The one-day conference will take place during the festival on Friday 17 November, at Durham’s Gala Theatre, when Lumiere organisers Artichoke invites people to join them to explore and question Who are we and where are we headed?

A full list of speakers and ticket details are available via this link.

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