Lumiere’s new County programme: Marks in the Landscape

Posted 10/11/2021

Six international light artists were invited to respond to previous interventions in the landscape made by humans across County Durham




Spanning almost 500 years from a medieval priory to an iconic brutalist pavilion, these new works offer a different take on familiar landmarks brought to life in unexpected ways.

Medieval meets modern in Javier Riera’s Castle of Light (Spain), a series of 3-dimensional abstract projections that magically transform the lakeside façade of Durham’s famous 14th-century fortress, Raby Castle. Finnish artist Kari Kola brings his experience of lighting world heritage sites such as Stonehenge to Finchale Priory with Solitude, a new site-specific commission, which will be accompanied by a soundscape composed by Sylvain Moreau. Elaine Buckholtz & Ian Winters’ A Telling of Light (US) will transform a North East landmark, the Penshaw Monument, into a beautiful and haunting COVID-19 memorial made up of projections of a single illuminated breath.  While this 18th century folly officially sits in Sunderland, it will be viewable for up to 20 miles  across County Durham. 

Occupying a prominent position in Seaham Marina is GO WITH THE FLOW / SWIM AGAINST THE TIDE, a large-scale LED text sculpture by Tim Etchells (UK), pairing two well-known phrases, which seem to contradict each other, hinting at the social struggles of compliance and resistance. An energising beacon of luminous colour will radiate across Ushaw Historic House and Gardens in Liz West’s Hymn to the Big Wheel (UK), creating an intriguing and immersive interplay of coloured shadows. Finally, Apollo 50 by Berlin-based artists, Mader Wiermann, which was first shown in Peterlee to mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic brutalist Apollo Pavilion, returns for Lumiere 2021, transforming the concrete structure with a mesmerising light sequence. 

Click here to explore the full programme.

Lumiere is produced by Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council with support from Arts Council England and Durham University and a raft of funders and supporters.

To stay up-to-date with festival updates, sign up for the Lumiere e-newsletter here and follow @artichoketrust on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.