Love Durham Cathedral?Donate now

What's On

Get ready for a resurgence of Lumiere favourites at Durham Cathedral this November

08 November 2019

This autumn Artichoke’s Lumiere light festival, which is commissioned by Durham County Council, returns with a packed 10th anniversary edition that has Durham Cathedral gearing up for its starring role.  

Old favourites are set to return, including Carabosse’s Spirit, a moving homage to the Durham mining community. Those entering the cathedral will encounter floating lanterns made from Miners’ vests, which will be suspended under the famous vaulted ceiling. The light from the vests will beautifully illuminate the architecture of the church, with soft candlelight invoking images of the souls of the former miners.  This installation is particularly poignant, as the cathedral gears up to celebrate the 150th anniversary year of the formation of the Durham Miners Association on 20th November, with the special Lights of the North service.

Charlie Allen, Canon Chancellor at Durham Cathedral, said: “We are overjoyed to be playing such a big part in Lumiere’s 10th anniversary year. Not only is the festival a great way of engaging new audiences in contemporary art, but it also reminds us of the Christian message of light, spiritual illumination and hope – themes that pave the way for our celebratory Year of Pilgrimage in 2020.

 We invite those travelling to Durham Cathedral during the festival to rejoice in the sense of awe and wonder that the building and art installations inspire, and to take a moment to reflect on the themes of light and hope during their visit.”

Tigrelab, a French based studio specialising in 2D and 3D animation, bring a vivid new projection to the Northern façade of the cathedral. ‘Stones’ consists of a shape-shifting, video-mapped projection, and will highlight the cathedral as an iconic historical structure as well as a modern symbol for the city.  Set to a rousing soundtrack, some lucky festivalgoers will even be able to interact with the piece, manipulating the images shown by the use of a controller.

Helen Marriage, CEO of Artichoke, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Durham Cathedral again in transforming its glorious exterior and interior spaces with art made from light. The Cathedral has played a central role in each edition of the festival since 2009, and we’re particularly pleased to be able to present the French company Carabosse once again, with their magical and moving installation “Spirit”. And it’s also thrilling to present an interactive piece on the exterior of this incredible building for the first time”.         

The Cloister and Cloister Garth will also receive an injection of light, in the form of hand blown glass lanterns, which will hang from the stone arches, while the mesmerizing fire garden which premiered at the festival in 2011, will return to transform The College. 

You can view the full Lumiere 2019 programme online at: