Lumiere Favourite Returns

Mysticéte, Cathereine Garret Top'Lá Design, Lumiere Durham, 2015. Photo by ©MatthewAndrews2015.jpg

Ahead of the full programme announcement on October 17th, we're delighted to reveal that we are sponsoring the return of Lumiere festival favourite Mysticète (the whale).

Mysticète is the first of several popular returning artworks to be announced. The mesmerising 3D projection of a Baleen whale emerging out of the water, created by design agency Top’là and visual artist Catherine Garret, was a much-loved feature of Lumiere Durham 2015. For the festival’s 10th anniversary edition, happening from 14th to 17th November 2019, Mysticète will resurface on the River Wear at a new location north of Pennyferry Bridge.

Mysticète’s remarkable lifelike animation by Domenico Spano is complemented by an evocative soundtrack by Laurent Frick. The artwork’s environmental message, reminding visitors of the vulnerable beauty of nature and their duty to protect the earth’s inhabitants, has only become more pertinent since the whale last appeared four years ago.

Catherine Garret said: “I have always loved the strength, grace and majesty of whales - I first imagined Mysticète as a ballet. To me it’s important that feel we are a part of nature rather than separate from it, and that by taking care of the Earth and living things we are taking care of ourselves. In light of the environmental issues and natural disasters we are currently experiencing, Mysticète feels even more relevant than when it came to Lumiere in 2015. I want to create a bond between nature and everyone who sees the work, especially children. When you look at their spellbound faces, you realise they are the generation we are passing our world onto.”

Milburngate’s joint venture partner Arlington Real Estate's managing director Allan Cook, says: “We've been keen supporters of Lumiere since day one and we're thrilled to be sponsoring one of my personal favourite installations, Catherine Garret’s Mysticète, in the festival’s 10th year. We know what a crowd pleaser it has been in the past and with increasing awareness of the fragile nature of their natural habitat I am sure it will be well received again. Sponsoring events like Lumiere is a great opportunity for businesses like ours to work with the arts and cultural community to help showcase Durham as a great place to live, work and visit.”

Helen Marriage, Artistic Director of Artichoke, said: "Mysticète was such a hit with Lumiere audiences last time and I am so thrilled we’re able to present it in Durham again as part of the 10th anniversary edition. Mysticète’s magic is its ability to connect us with nature and show us a different way of looking at the world. I hope it will inspire our festival audience and be a fitting reminder of the preciousness of our world in this time of environmental crisis."

Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “When people talk to us about their favourite Lumiere installations, the ‘whale in the river’ comes up time and time again. We are delighted Mysticète is returning to Durham for Lumiere’s tenth anniversary edition. It will be a chance for the tens of thousands of people who admired it in 2015 to reconnect with it and for a whole new audience to marvel at its splendour.”

Lumiere, commissioned by Durham County Council and produced by arts charity Artichoke, will take place from 14th-17th November 2019. The full Lumiere programme, including additional festival favourites and exciting new works, will be announced on 17th October 2019.

You can find out more about Lumiere here