Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Prepare for the Greatest Light Show on Earth

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Prepare for the Greatest Light Show on Earth

Article excerpt

Byline: David Whetstone Culture Editor

WILL it be the field of illuminated flower sculptures in the cathedral cloister? Or will it be the glittering, multi-coloured Dome and Arches in the Market Place and up Saddler and Silver streets? Or will it be the mischievous moon projected onto the castle which turns Framwellgate Bridge below into Durham's own 'blinking bridge'? There's always a favourite talking point at Lumiere, the city's festival of light, and this year, judging by last night's media preview, there could be more than one.

November guarantees the requisite evening darkness but it can also bring fickle weather. In 2015 - Lumiere takes place every two years - high winds put the kibosh on at least one of the attractions.

Last night there was no wind to speak of and even down on the riverside footpath below the cathedral, where Finnish artist Kari Kola has created an extraordinary magical world of sound and light, it wasn't too cold - not like on Monday when there was an icy chill.

Some things, however, will not get their big reveal until tonight's eagerly awaited public opener.

In past years Durham Cathedral has been a blank canvas for lighting projections, giving the festival some iconic images.

This time there has been a different approach.

Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena was intrigued by English bell-ringing and has come up with a piece called Methods which is sure to be more exciting than the name suggests.

Sixty bellringers have been recruited from across the region to ring throughout the festival nights.

As I understand it, each chime of each bell will activate a lighting effect within the ancient building.

This was one of the main Lumiere commissions not in operation at last night's preview for the very good reason that the bellringers are preserving their strength.

Lumiere has been produced each time since its 2009 debut by Artichoke whose director, Helen Marriage, was all smiles last night.

In the first year the festival attracted 40,000 people and there was an issue about congestion.

Lessons were learned and last time there were 200,000 visitors and no major complaints of that nature. …

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