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Image of Cosmic Architecture, Ogden Centre, Lumiere 2019

The full programme for Lumiere 2021 has been revealed and with 39 installations this promises to be an ambitious, inspiring and thought-provoking event.

UK's largest light festival

Produced by Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council, Lumiere is the UK’s largest light festival and is held every two years in Durham.

This year it will run over four evenings from 18-21 November and the University is excited to once again be a major partner in the festival.   

Inspiration at every turn

We are sponsoring three exciting installations on some of our newest and some of our most historic buildings.

Anthology-Into the Light is a collaboration with Durham University and New Writing North that will see ten of the UK’s most exciting poets write new works to be projected on to the walls of Durham Castle, home to University College. Kayombo Chingonyi, Assistant Professor in our Department of English Studies is one of the poets contributing and we can’t wait to see this piece.

CHRONOS will illuminate our Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics with a projection and soundscape that takes the viewer on an audio-visual voyage through time.

Meanwhile, at St Mary’s College, almost 2,000 LED bulbs will be used to create the illusion of figures moving across the college terrace, in a piece called Scattered Light.

Finally, the installation on the façade of Durham Cathedral, entitled In Our Hearts Blind Hope, will feature a specially recorded soundtrack including a 35 piece orchestra made up of some of our most experience student orchestral players, and conducted by first year Music student Jude Holloway.  

Shining a light on our times

This year’s festival will also feature everything from a giant desk lamp to huge hanging flowers which re-imagine household plastic waste.

Societal challenges are also addressed with works raising awareness of hidden disabilities and reflecting on the separation and loss experienced through Covid-19.

Lumiere 2021 will not only see installations in Durham City, but also include six new installations lighting up landmark locations across County Durham.

Running each night between 4:30 and 11pm, the festival is completely free to attend and 29 of the 39 installations are accessible without a ticket at all times.

Find out more

  • The city centre area of Lumiere will be ticketed for the entirety of the festival opening times every night and you will need a ticket to enter this area. Tickets will be available to book online and will be available for local residents from 10am on Tuesday 19th October and will go on general release at 10am on Thursday 21st October.
  • If you are interested in volunteering as a Festival Maker at Lumiere this year, find about more about what is involved here.
  • We are proud to support the County Durham bid to become UK City of Culture 2025 as principal partner. Find out more and pledge your support here.

Image credit:

Cosmic Architecture by Nina Dunn and John Del’Nero, located at the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, Lumiere 2019.