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Durham University to support 10th anniversary edition of Lumiere light festival

Published May 09, 2019 12.17pm


Durham University is to be a major partner of the tenth anniversary edition of Lumiere, when the UK's biggest light festival returns to Durham later this year.

Lumiere uni

A previous Lumiere

The university, which is one of the world's top 100 universities and was recently ranked sixth in the UK, is to make a cash investment of £120,000 and be a major partner across cultural activity, volunteering and logistics.

Lumiere Durham has become a landmark event in the cultural calendar of the North East and is recognised around the world as a "must-see" on the international light festival circuit.

Lumiere will return to illuminate Durham for a spectacular tenth anniversary edition from Thursday 14 - Sunday 17 November 2019. Produced by arts charity Artichoke, the UK's leading creative producer of art in the public realm, and commissioned by us, with additional support from Arts Council England, the University and a host of other funders and supporters, the four-day festival will feature around 30 bespoke installations from internationally acclaimed artists.

Durham University has supported Lumiere since it began in 2009. In 2017, the university hosted several major installations. Cosmic Architecture was a light and sound installation featuring the university's Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, inspired by the world-leading cosmology and astronomy research that takes place in the Daniel Libeskind-designed building. For the Birds took visitors on a meditative and immersive journey through the university's Botanic Garden, with over 20 light and sound installations inspired by birds.

Professor David Cowling, pro-vice-chancellor (arts and humanities) at the university, said: "Lumiere is an inspiring event; it's innovative, exciting and something that many, many people look forward to greatly. As Durham's university, we're proud to be involved.

"Lumiere,like the university, brings many visitors to Durham, makes a significant contribution to the North East economy, and helps raise the profile of our city and region nationally and internationally. We have a long record of supporting Lumiere and we're very pleased to be a major sponsor for Lumiere Durham 2019."

Sarah Coop, Artichoke's development director, said: "Durham University will be instrumental in bringing this very special tenth anniversary edition of Lumiere to fruition and we're thrilled to have them on board as major partners once again. There are exciting opportunities for us to work together to showcase the university's world-leading research and its commitment to driving excellence in creative, innovative thought through Lumiere's world-class programme of light art installations."

Truly amazing spectacle

Cllr Ossie Johnson, our Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, said: "We're delighted to have Durham University on board for this the tenth anniversary Lumiere.

"Every edition of the event provides a truly amazing spectacle for people from far and wide and a major boost to our economy, and the university's involvement has helped it grow into the biggest light festival in the UK.

"This year's Lumiere is one of the standout features of 12 months in which we are celebrating everything this county has to offer culturally through #Durham19 and its 30 installations are set to mark the 10 year anniversary in stunning fashion."

The free-to-attend festival attracted an estimated 240,000 visitors to Durham in 2017, making a regional economic impact calculated at £9.6 million.

Programming for Lumiere is under way. Further details will be announced nearer the time. 

For the latest upates, visit the Lumiere website

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