Erin McDougle (UK)

Location: Saddler Street

Spot the illuminated magpies paired to bring joy. 

Two for Joy is based on the old nursery rhyme, “one for sorrow, two for joy”, and the tradition of saying this rhyme when spotting magpies.

McDougle grew up saluting singular magpies in a superstitious attempt to offset impending sorrow. .She became fascinated at other people’s reaction to spotting the birds, whether it was indifferent or enthusiastic. In discussion with friends and family, she discovered that everyone grows up with their own unique and often inherited phrases after spotting a pair of magpies, some saluting the birds while others may retell the rhyme. After a year of going for long walks in lockdown, spotting two magpies together felt like a good omen which always brought joy in a dark time.

McDougle hopes the piece allows the viewers to reflect on their own take of this cultural quirk. To encourage ourselves to question or think about other similar things we have grown up doing or saying – she’s also interested in how people from other cultures interact with what she sees to be a very British, but often overlooked, custom.


Saddler Street: There are 14 steps at the junction with Saddler Street, the steps have handrails to the centre and side. There is alternative sloped access (very steep) to the side of the steps which leads onto Saddler Street between the Market Place and Palace Green. Saddler Street has a steep incline on the approach to North Bailey and Palace Green. The surface is paved and cobbled with narrow paved footpaths. 

About Erin McDougle

Erin is a graphic and brand designer from the North East, currently based in Newcastle. Her work typically involves branding for businesses, but in her spare time she can be found crafting illustrations and lettering.


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.

BRILLIANT 2021 is supported by


Stay in touch with all things Lumiere