Thursday, 21 November 2013

All of the lights, all of the lights...Lumiere, Durham

 Last week, (November 14th-17th) saw the return of Durham's Lumiere Festival, described as "a four-day celebration of the power of light that will transform the city into a giant outdoor gallery" in the free brochure.  I went to Lumiere two years ago with my Mr and some friends and have to say I was blown away by the artistic creations that filled the city.  Most impressive of all was the giant snow globe created over the statue of the Marquess of Londonderry which completely blew me away!  Admittedly, the pictures aren't brilliant...but you get the idea! 

Lumiere, Durham, 2011

So the bar was set pretty high for the standard we were expecting this year for Lumiere.  We decided to visit it late Friday night, in an attempt to beat the weekend rush.  Durham was still super busy, but we managed to see some weird and wonderful things.  Here's what we found on our Lumiere adventure...

"Elephantastic" by Top'La Design (France)

"A Place Beyond Belief" by Nathan Coley

"A Consumerist Christmas Tree" by Luzinterruptus (Spain)

"Crown Of Light" at Durham Cathedral

"Helvetictoc" by Tobie Langel (Switzerland)

"Volume Unit" The Media Workshop UK

"Aquarium" Benedetto Bufalino and Benoit Deseille (France)

"Key Frames" Groupe Laps (France)

"Guardian Angels" Maro Avrabou and Dimitri Xenakis (France/Greece)
I have to say that although we saw a lot at Lumiere this year too, (and the Elephant was AMAZING!) I was a little underwhelmed by it all this time around.  A lot of the problem was that areas of the festival this year were indoors, meaning lengthy queuing, and a very unorganised set up.  So sadly, we missed quite a lot of it.  I was particularly saddened, as I wanted to see the "Floating Dresses" inside the Cathedral, but by the time we had realised there was a queuing system (and found the end of the very long queue!) we missed the last entry.  It wasn't all bad however, I heard some of the people that visited on the Saturday night didn't get to see anything at all, as there were far too many people for the city to handle, so at least by going a day early we got to see something!  Nevertheless, highlights for me were of course the "Consumerist Christmas Tree", putting into perspective the amount of carrier bags we throw away each year, and "The Volume Unit", as it transformed part of the city into an outdoor party.

I hope my pictures have helped to give you an insight into what Lumiere is all about, and who knows, maybe you'll be visiting in two years time for the next one?  Comfortable shoes and a warm coat are a must!!! Enjoy!

Which installation is your favourite?


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