The Light of the Spirit, Patrice Warrener, Lumiere London 2016. Produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews

About Lumiere

Transforming cities across the UK, for each Lumiere festival Artichoke invites international artists to create works that light buildings and public spaces, changing the way that we think and feel.

The first Lumiere light festival took place in Durham in 2009. Originally planned as a one off, with the support of Durham County Council and other sponsors, producers Artichoke have brought the event back to the North East every other year since.

In 2015, a record 200,000 visitors came to the event enjoying a ‘whale’ in the River Wear, mysterious rolling fog, and an interactive projection onto the inner roof of Durham Cathedral.

There are always opportunities for local people to get involved in the festival, from applying to the BRILLIANT competition with an idea for a light work, or being part of installations like Asalto Durham where green screen technology was used to make individuals appear to ‘climb’ over Durham Viaduct. Artists also created work with the County’s prison population from 2009 – 2013.


Lumiere has also travelled to other cities in the UK. In 2013, Lumiere Derry~Londonderry was the finale to the first UK City of Culture celebrations. Huge audiences enjoyed a dazzling programme including Compagnie Carabosse’s Fire Garden in St Columb’s Park and a giant game of consequences video-mapped onto Ebrington Clocktower by Ocubo.

In January 2016, Lumiere London came to the capital for the first time. Pedestrianising large parts of the West End including Oxford Street, Regents Street and Piccadilly and transforming Mayfair and King’s Cross, the festival brought over one million visitors to the city.

Explore our archive to find out more about past Lumiere festivals.

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