Light in the dark. Sprinkles in the air, the world illuminated and illustrated. Sculptures that ride on the moment changing into myth and remembrance in a flicker.
These are light sculptures, installations both physical and transient, products of both place and time. From nanoseconds of projection that create the illusions of an elephant hovering over our heads, we move amongst ghostly dresses in the cloisters, then through the recreation of animation cells arising from the coal up to the heavens, over to centuries of history resplendently draped across a cathedral and Will o'th' Wisps dancing above the aisle inside; these are creations that grab our attention and make us see the world anew.
This is the Durham Lumiere, busy - yes, varied - yes, inspiring - yes. Amongst the seething crowds, where families and groups gabbed hold of each other for fear of being lost in the night, we made our way through history and change to view these moments. I gave my eye to create sound, and found myself amongst a dawn chorus at night where neon bird boxes called to the morning and a owl voiced surprised annoyance at topsy-turvey time. Then, as the event drew to a close I stood beneath the sun at midnight, and gaped as spots and flares reached out towards me (okay, it was nearer eleven - but c'mon, poetic license an' all that!).
Sure, some installations didn't grab me as much - generally to do with my feeling that projecting words - even beautifully written words, is not so much an installation as a power point presentation. I feel the sense of place and the opportunity that light provides in terms of colour, line, movement and projection demands more - some extension or contextualisation or ideally interaction with the viewers. Others sought to comment on society, technology and the environment, with glowing plastic bags wryly glancing at the shopping centre around it, and litres of light showing the beauty of technology that brings light into the darkness of extreme poverty (a technology I grimly noted that originated in The Philippines).
The Lumiere cast light in the path of winter, clashing light and dark, bustle and contemplation, beauty and the everyday, the illuminated and the meandering; all with the impulse to bring together thousands to witness art in the world around us. At the midnight sunrise we glimpse oxymoron in action and drink in its chilli-warmth.