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Durham University

Research & business

Student invites Lumiere visitors to Know Thyself

(14 November 2017)

BRILLIANT commission winner Finola Finn

A throbbing red heart that will illuminate one of Durham’s most famous landmarks has been inspired by the historical research of postgraduate student Finola Finn.

Durham University History PhD student Finola has created Know Thyself, which will be exhibited at The Count’s House on the City’s riverbanks during Lumiere 2017 from 16 to 19 November.

Suspended inside The Count’s House, on Durham’s riverbanks, the heart grows stronger and brighter, weaker and dimmer – in time with the corresponding sound of a slow, low, abstract heartbeat.

Drawing on 17th century imagery and the ancient proverb ‘Know Thyself’, this installation questions where our sense of self lies.

BRILLIANT commission

Australian-born Finola was one of five artists selected to have their work shown at Lumiere as part of the BRILLIANT commissioning strand.

BRILLIANT offers opportunities for creative people who are based in, or originally from, Durham and North East England, to develop and produce their ideas for artworks using the medium of light.

Finola will soon be completing her thesis at Durham University, researching melancholy in 17 century England. She is interested in how people have made sense of emotions and mental illness in different times, cultures, and places.

She said: "Working on the installation over the past six months has been incredibly rewarding. Translating my historical research into a palpable, emotive experience through the media of light and sound has been exciting, and provided me with new ways of thinking about my work. I hope the piece opens discussion about ideas of self, and where our sense of self may lie - and I am really looking forward to seeing how the audience reacts.”

Artistic merit

The winning BRILLIANT ideas were chosen from a record-breaking 125 proposals submitted following the open call for ideas earlier this year. The artists are all based in County Durham and the North East. Other winning proposals are from Emma Boyes a paper artist living in Cumbria; Aidan Moesby a practicing artist based in Gateshead; Chris Plant, a digital all-rounder based in Durham; and Amy-Rose Welch, a Visual Arts student at New College Durham.

The proposals were chosen following a rigorous selection process, the final stage of which involved site visits and interviews with each of the finalists. The successful proposals were selected on artistic merit, as well as how each would develop the skills of the artists involved.

More information about University related installations at Lumiere 2017 can be found here.

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