‘Breathtaking’ Lumiere to light up the entire city

Helen Marriage and Nicky Webb, co-founders of Artichoke, who will help create a dazzling festival of light in the city from November 28 until December 1. (41013JC2)
Helen Marriage and Nicky Webb, co-founders of Artichoke, who will help create a dazzling festival of light in the city from November 28 until December 1. (41013JC2)

A “trail of breathtaking light-works” is how those behind Lumiere describe the celebrations planned for Derry this winter.

The inspired team behind Lumiere - Artichoke - were in town this week for its launch. The ‘Journal’ caught up with Artichoke’s two founders as they busied themselves in final preparations for this city-wide art installation which runs from November 28 until December 1.

Helen Marriage and Nicky Webb co-founded Artichoke as a labour of love, explains Artistic Director Helen.

“Nicky and I founded Artichoke around eight years ago, and Nicky’s expertise is in marketing and communications, while mine is more in the curation of the programme and how it all gets produced. So I wander around cities, looking at sites with artists deciding what might be interesting,” Helen reveals.

“Then Nicky and I talk together about how we could achieve it, so our roles are seamless in the way we work.”

Obviously, in scouring for suitable locations Helen has the fun part of the job? “It is great,” she laughs.

“You do get to see parts of a place that others don’t necessarily see or notice anymore. Who else gets to do that for a living? What we believe in Artichoke is that if you temporarily transform a physical landscape, you can permanently change people’s attitudes to the place and to each other too. You remember those experiences and you share them with people you’ve never come across before.”

Helen has high hopes for Lumiere and hopes, above all else, that people will come from far and wide just for a glimpse.

“The whole point is that this is an invitation to come out and explore the city after dark,” she says. “That’s a chance that’s rarely offered to people

and if it works, the place should be completely open with people milling around enjoying the artists’ work.”

Check out the superb new website: www.lumiere-festival.com