Lumiere Durham

Last weekend, we went to visit the Lumiere festival at Durham.

Lumiere is a four day (or – more accurately – four night) arts event, featuring a bunch of light-based works by a collection of international artists. I took my trusty camcorder along, and made this:

We did have a *slight* sense of trepidation before the visit. If you took the vistor feedback on the festival website at face value, you would probably be expecting scenes of crowd-crush bedlam and bodies floating down the river Wear… but — fortunately — our actual experience wasn’t anything like that at all. We visited at 8pm on the Sunday, drove straight into a space at the free park-and-walk on the outskirts of town, had a pleasant stroll around all the installations (it was surprisingly warm for a mid-November night!), and the only delay we encountered all night was a 10 minute queue to get through the front door of the Cathedral. Totally stress-free visit.

I enjoyed Lumiere a lot; it was fascinating to see familiar Durham landmarks transformed into large-scale works of art. The Marquess of Londonderry’s Statue encased in a ginormous snow globe, a manic 8bit chip-tune disco in Wharton park, and the images of Durham Cathedral Cloisters transformed into a sprawling steampunk fire garden are just a few of the memories that will persist for a very long time indeed. Great stuff.

This was the second Lumiere to be held in Durham (the first was in 2009), and I hope they do another one in spite of all the whingers… it’s great to see an arts event on this scale in the North East – Roll on 2013!!

I’m pleased with how the video came out… it was all shot without the aid of a tripod, and the camera’s low-lux / spotlight modes coped pretty well with the tricky lighting conditions. This is, unfortunately, edit number 2… YouTube balked at my original choice of soundtrack (Apoptygma Berserk‘s cover version of “Electricity” – which matched the footage *perfectly*) … so I re-cut everything to a creative-commons licensed tune to keep the copyright police happy. Pity. I’ll just have to keep the (vastly superior) director’s cut in the archives for now…

Update: while writing this post, I got a tweet from the festival organisers to say they’re featuring my “film” on the front page of the official Lumiere website (woot!). Finally, my work is picked up by a major international arts festival *cough* 😉

Posted in Bizarre, Travels, Video | Permalink.

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