BRILLIANT Installation


Steph Whalen (UK)

Location: The Riverwalk

Hidden messages through green and red hearts in the sky

Invisible Hearts aims to raise awareness about hidden disabilities. The green hearts that glow brightly amongst the red hearts in this artwork symbolise the one person in every six with a hidden Disability.

As a student at East Durham College, Steph Whalen took part in the Lumiere 2019 project, Lift Off, with Guildhall School of Music & Drama.  She volunteered at the festival and was inspired to apply for BRILLIANT through these experiences.  Her journey illustrates the impact that Lumiere aims to have on individuals and communities alike.

BRILLIANT is a commissioning scheme aimed at encouraging anyone (aged 18 or older) to suggest their brightest idea for a new light-based artwork as part of the Lumiere 2021 programme. In an exciting development for Lumiere 2021, the scheme has been extended to the whole of the UK.



Riverside: Tarmac footpath and no lighting. Seating at regular intervals along the route. 

Click here for more information about the Riverside walk.

During Lumiere 2019 as a volunteer, I had a hard time handing out the sunflower lanyard as a means of support. People didn’t want to know. However, during recent times, luckily, people are now much more aware of what the sunflower lanyard stands for: ALL HIDDEN DISABILITIES. 

Sadly during the pandemic people have been abusing an amazing tool, which was created as a means of help and support for those with hidden Disabilities who need it, which has created at times unnecessary animosity towards people who genuinely need these lanyards. At times, I was astounded by people saying that they looked at someone and they “just knew”, and I thought, “how do you know? I am standing here with no lanyard and I have bipolar affective disorder and you are none the wiser. Would you say the same to me if you knew?” Hidden Disability has no face, and that’s what I wanted to show in my piece

Steph Whalen

BRILLIANT 2021 is supported by

Invisible Hearts supported by


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