In true British weather, it rained on the evening I planned to head to Durham Lumiere. Not just a spot of rain but full on torrential rain! However, the weather was not going to stop me from taking photos of the event. For those who don’t know what the Durham Lumiere is; it’s the largest light festival in the UK. This year many international artists shared their vision for how light can change the world by illuminating the beautiful city of Durham in colourful light constellations. I thought I could share with you some of the photos from my iPhone while I was there.


The fogscape was actually the last I saw in the Lumiere Festival as it was down at the bottom of the Cathedral. Japanese artist, Fujiko Nakaya was the first to use fog as a sculptural medium, using it for the transmission of light and shadow. It looked really spooky and reminded me of the Harry Potter films.

The Garden of Light was beautiful and reminded me of walking into Alice In Wonderland with lots of colourful light sculptures. It was created by two technicians from France, François Fouilhé and Jean-Baptiste Laude, who are part of the TILT collective. It aims to give prominence to light art by encouraging the view from a new perspective. The sculpture used recycled materials along with high technical production.

The next sculpture I saw has definitely got to be my favourite from the night. The Litre of Light is made using thousands of plastic bottles. Mick Stephenson who built the sculpture has a track record of turning rubbish into beautiful illuminated art. There was a stand where you could write your own message and they would be placed in the sculpture and then cherished by Durham Cathedral after the festival was over.

Due to the rain, the Lumineoles weren’t as attractive as described by others. This was because it was so wet to be flown against the wind like they should have been. They were lit by LED lights and kept changing colours. At first I thought it was a whale but they are imaginary birds.

The World Machine was lighting up the Cathedral as you walked inside. The amazing art piece was a collaboration between Ross Ashton, cosmologists and historians at Durham University including Professor Carlos Frenk, sound designer John del’Nero and composer Isobel Waller-Bridge. It charted the ideas behind the origin of the Universe via a projection onto the Cathedral. During the intervals of each shows, the Cathedral was lit up in the colours of the French flag to show Paris that they have our support which I thought was such a lovely idea.

Rainbow River splits light through a perspex structure. It symbolises the history of research into light and its endless possibilities.

Finally, the Complex Meshes was projected onto the ceiling of the Cathedral. The ‘meshes’ were of various colourful shapes that overlapped, transformed and evolved into new patterns. I loved it! It just looked so magical. It was produced in response to the design of the Cathedral’s vault which signified the beginning of Gothic style architecture.

Despite the rain, I loved the Durham Lumiere Festival and can’t wait to return in two years time.

Did you go to the Durham Lumiere? What did you think?

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