Durham’s Lumiere biennale got under way last night with the promise that the city would be ‘bathed in light for four unforgettable nights’.
Light sleepers of Durham be warned, at least 30 British artists working in light have descended moth-like to the city, creating animated projections, human rivers of light and interventions to buildings, streets and bridges, making a trail which radiates around the city.
French luminaries or ‘fire alchemists’ Compagnie Carabosse have designed Spirit, within Durham Cathedral and its grounds, using candles, lanterns, lighted threads and beacons made from vests traditionally worn by miners, which will lead visitors through the nave into the cloisters. A 4m sphere will also hang in the Cathedral Crossing.
A Crown of Light has been designed by Ross Ashton for the Northside of the Cathedral – an animated canvas referencing the Lindisfarne Gospels, with images of artifacts from inside the Cathedral, accompanied by Robert Ziegler and John Del’Nero soundscapes.
Peter Lewis has worked with engineering firm to deliver Splash, a curtain of water which cascades from the Kingsgate Footbridge which crosses the River Wear between the University and Cathedral.
Elsewhere Tracey Emin, Martin Creed, Claire Fontaine and Tim Etchells have designed neons, hoisted upon famous landmarks around the city.
Lumiere takes place across the city of Durham until Sunday.