Select a section
A metal ball with flames surrounded by smaller flames on the ground outside Durham Cathedral
Sprit, Compagnie Carabosse, Lumiere Durham 2011. Photo Matthew Andrews.

A triumphant return for the second Lumiere Durham light festival 

Commissioned by Durham County Council.

Watch the Lumiere 2011 highlights

For four nights, around 80 local and international artists, lighting designers and community groups brought a sprinkle of winter magic to the city with a breathtaking series of installations and projections that illuminated Durham’s buildings, streets and bridges.

A giant snow globe, an immersive fire garden and a colour-changing waterfall

Lumiere 2011 re-imagined the possibilities of light art. 35 light installations transformed buildings, streets and bridges across the city. 

An estimated 150,000 people enjoyed an ambitious programme that transformed familiar landmarks. Peter Lewis’ Splash turned Kingsgate footbridge into a huge illuminated waterfall. Compagnie Carabosse captivated audiences bringing flaming mechanical structures and flickering lanterns made from miners vests to the inside of Durham Cathedral and its grounds, whilst at Market Place, Jacques Rival’s mischievous I Love Durham housed the Marquess of Londonderry statue in a giant snow globe.

Several installations were created with the local community. Hundreds of schoolchildren paraded through the city on opening night with lanterns made with Liverpool Lantern Company. Working with the women prisoners of HMP Low Newton and their children, Jana Matejkova’s Wish Comet displayed their hopes and dreams in the shape of a shooting star.

The BRILLIANT competition ran for the first time, inviting local people to apply with their ideas for light installations. Four winners were chosen, including Mick Stephenson’s Fusion made from hundreds of recycled plastic bottles. With audiences more than doubling following the first edition in 2009, the festival cemented its status in the North East.

Lumiere Durham 2011 was commissioned by Durham County Council and collaborated with light festivals in Poland and Estonia for Lux Scientia. The project was funded with support from the European Commission.

Audience icon



New commission icon


Number of new commissions

Population icon


Durham population

Installation icon


Number of artists

People walking through a square tunnel lit up in rainbow colours
RAINBOW, Deadgood Studio, Lumiere Durham 2011, produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews

The throng was amazed and it kept saying so, sometimes in reverent whispers, and sometimes in a joyful shout.

~ Rachel Cooke, The Observer, November 2011 ~


Ross Ashton, Robert Ziegler, John Del’ Nero

Crown of Light | View Bio

Boo Beaumont

Metamorph | View Bio

Alexandre A R Costa

Utopia | View Bio

Tracey Emin

Be Faithful To Your Dreams | View Bio

Edmund Francis

Anglepoise (7X) | View Bio

Walter Holt

The Wonderwood | View Bio

Tobie Langel

Helvetictoc | View Bio

Liverpool Lantern Company

River of Light | View Bio

Jana Matejkova

Wish Comet | View Bio

Verity Quinn and Bethan Maddocks

Ad Astra Per Aspera (Through Hardship to the Stars) | View Bio

Mick Stephenson

Fusion | View Bio

David Batchelor

Pimp Pallets, 2006 | View Bio

Cédric Le Borgne

Les Voyageurs (The Travellers) | View Bio

Martin Creed

Work No. 1086 – Everything Is Going To Be Alright | View Bio

Tim Etchells

Will Be | View Bio

Ron Haselden

Brothers and Sisters | View Bio

Dorota Kraft

LED’s Dance! | View Bio

Dominik Lejman

60 Second Cathedral | View Bio


Global Curiosity Shop | View Bio

Claire Morgan

A New Moon | View Bio

Jacques Rival

I Love Durham | View Bio

Martin Warden

Durham Bridges | View Bio

David Batchelor

Festival, 2006 | View Bio

Compagnie Carabosse

Spirit | View Bio

Deadgood Studio

Rainbow | View Bio

Claire Fontaine

Capitalism Kills (Love) | View Bio


Viaduct | View Bio


Binary Waves | View Bio

Peter Lewis

Splash | View Bio

Leonardo Meigas

Hartmann Grid | View Bio

Simeon Nelson

Plenum | View Bio

Daan Roosegaarde

Liquid Space | View Bio

Richard Wolfströme / Ira Lightman

Lightwriting | View Bio

The Global Curiosity Shop, Luma Labs, conceived by Paul Goodfellow, Lumiere Durham 2011. Produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews

We enjoyed it so much, the music, the ideas, the atmosphere. Everything was wonderful. After last year i though I might not be just as impressed this year, but I'm awe struck again. Thanks for turning our city into a work of art!

~ Anne, audience member ~

Lumiere Durham 2013