Lumiere 2019

‘Lumiere‘ is the name of a light festival that has taken place in Durham over the last 10 years. There have been one million visitors to the city to see Lumiere since the first one. I have lived in Durham for nearly 12 years and I just love the festival: the concept of the city being filled with outdoor artworks and crowds of people walking around enjoying it all is marvellous.  I have written about this before in 2015 here and in 2017 here.

Anyhow, on to this year’s festival, which included some pieces seen in previous events (as it was the 10th anniversary year), such as the giant ‘snow-dome’ seen below. The dome encompassed the large statue in the market-place, was filled with swirling white ‘snow-flakes’ and changed colour moment by moment. The title ‘We love Durham’ sums it up – we do!

Lumiere 2019‘I love Durham’ by Jacques Rival

Another favourite installation was in (and around) the cathedral. Below you can see a ‘lantern’ made from a vest, typical of the ones worn by miners in the Durham coalfield, with a light like a flickering candle within.

DSC_4088Spirit’ by Compagnie Carabosse

The whole artwork was made up of scores of these lanterns, seeming to float upwards into the darkness of the cathedral while live music played,

DSC_4089‘Spirit’ by Compagnie Carabosse

In the Chapter House of the cathedral, there was a participatory artwork: the opportunity to light a candle and to choose to say a prayer.


A large, illuminated word ‘Hope’ stood at the end of the room. You can get something of the sense of the beautiful architecture behind the letters,,,


and above them.


The central area surrounded by the cloisters – and the area at the back of the cathedral  -were full of flaming torches in various configurations, some even mounted on arches that you could walk through!


On The Bailey, close to the cathedral, was a witty piece involving several lines of multi-coloured pairs of shoes apparently tossed over a wire.

DSC_4097‘Shoe Fiti’ by Deepa Mann-Kler  

In the churchyard of St Oswald’s these small nest-boxes glowed in the trees and bird-song was intermittently heard and then silenced.

DSC_4119‘Sanctuary’ by Sarah Blood in St Oswald’s churchyard

Lumiere was hugely enjoyable despite the fact that the weather was cold and quite rainy. So many wonderful illusions were created.  It was quite sad to see (on the day after the festival, which was clear and bright!), the disassembly beginning to take place.


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Later this week I will be at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.


Because I am teaching at the show, you can get a discount on entry tickets with the code


I am teaching a workshop on Friday 29 November from 8.30 – 10.30 am

and on Sunday 1 December from 1.00 – 3.00 pm

Workshops are bookable online or at the show, up to a maximum of 12 people for each of my sessions. We will be making a ‘Quirky Bird’ panel using applique, patchwork and embroidery. The finished piece will look a little like the one below, which could later be made into a framed picture, a cushion, a table-runner of could be included in a quilt.


It’s now just a month until Christmas and the most popular pattern in my Etsy shop is this Christmas Tree Skirt, which you can make to cover the stand that holds your tree. You can find it here.

Christmas Tree Skirt

Also this Friday is the launch of the Christmas Tree Festival and the Christmas Exhibition at Ushaw, where I have a studio. Sadly, I can’t be at the launch because I will be in Harrogate, but if you visit Ushaw you can find my ‘Textiles Tree’ in the Refectory and three of my quilt pieces in the exhibition. For details of opening times please go to

Thank you for reading my blog. Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here.

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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