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Opening with a lantern procession from local schoolchildren, the magical festival brought together 35 grand artworks which ranged from neon to LED lighting displays. Casting a new light over Durham’s landmarks, the river, bridges and streets were all lit up, transforming the city into a temporary wonderland.

Facades of Durham’s historic buildings became modern works of art: the library was adorned with a film of skydivers by artist Dominik Lejman; the cathedral with images of the Lindisfarne gospels for ‘Crown of Light’ by UK artists Ross Ashton, Robert Zeigler and John Del’ Nero; and Tracey Emin‘s words were scratched in light across St Nicholas’s Chapel.

The city’s streets were also re-designed. A waterfall shimmered over a footbridge in ‘Splash’ by Peter Lewis, while a narrow street became covered by bright light figures flying overhead, ‘Les Voyageurs’ by French artist Cedric le Borgne.

Returning to Durham since it first began in 2009, Lumiere is created by Artichoke Trust, a group that bring large scale art events into the public. A collaborative group with links to Poland and Estonia, Lux Scientia, was joined by works from local artists.

Lumiere was not designed to be a spectacle with green credentials and has been reproached for being a wasteful use of energy. But by lighting up the city the show encouraged visitors to engage with their surroundings, enjoying the city in a new and wondrous form.

+ Lumiere
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Images courtesy of Fresco Photos