LUMIERE DURHAM 2011
Kingsgate footbridge transformed into an enormous illuminated waterfall.
In the 1980s Canadian artist Peter Lewis created an extraordinary artwork that delighted residents and visitors each public holiday. The Great Divide Waterfall, located on the high level bridge in Edmonton, Canada, was 64m high – even higher than Niagara Falls.
Artichoke commissioned Lewis to create a new, illuminated, waterfall, Splash, especially for Lumiere Durham 2011. This spectacular installation was situated on one of Durham’s great modern landmarks, the Kingsgate footbridge, which was commissioned in 1963 to join the University and the city. The Kingsgate Bridge was the last building to be designed by the great engineer Ove Arup, whose ashes were scattered from it on his death.
Splash was engineered by the Morecambe-based company Water Sculptures, a family firm founded 40 years ago, now known all over the world for their ability to do anything difficult with water.
Peter Lewis was born in South Wales and studied at St Martin’s School of Art in London before emigrating to Canada in the 1970s. After numerous solo exhibitions, he began to work with landscape and has completed several ambitious projects in North America. As well as the Great Divide waterfall, he is also known for giving a unique wedding gift to Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in the form of more than 1,200 bonfires from Scotland to the Channel Islands. Architectural projects have included work for Clive Piercy and Cowichan Tribes in British Colombia. At his home in Vancover Island, Peter built the Bright Angel Garden, a 10-acre water garden that includes a 2-acre lake, 14 fountains and the largest prayer wheel in North America.