people gather in the dark to look at a tree strewn with neon lights

Community Foundation encourages BRILLIANT entries.

County Durham Community Foundation is encouraging creative people from across the North East to enter their BRILLIANT ideas for this year’s Lumiere.

The BRILLIANT programme, sponsored by EMG Solicitors, invites artists from the North East, aged 18 and over, to submit their bright ideas.

Successful applicants will be supported by Artichoke with the production costs and technical expertise to create and install their artwork, and receive a fee.

Community Foundation invite

Now County Durham Community Foundation is hosting an informal Zoom session with Louise Dennison from the Lumiere team, for the groups it funds. The session aims to encourage applications from creative people from all walks of life.

The Zoom session will be held on Thursday, January 14th at 2pm. To book a slot, please email

Lumiere will take place from Thursday, November 18 to Sunday 21 this year, and is commissioned by Durham County Council.

For the first time the scheme will also be open to the whole of the UK, encouraging the nations to unleash their creative potential and bring light into people’s lives.

The BRILLIANT scheme was previously open only to residents of the North East of England. The number of commissions has been increased to six, with three still reserved for people who are based in the region, while the extended scheme will support up to three more commissions from across the country. 

This also marks the first time that the scheme is being sponsored, with Durham-based EMG Solicitors, which has supported Lumiere since 2017, choosing to sponsor BRILLIANT for 2021.

Spectacular creations

Twenty-one BRILLIANT artworks have been shown across the previous editions of Lumiere Durham, which have attracted more than one million visitors. Successful artists have made work using recycled objects, glass washed up from the ocean and supersized everyday objects including knitting needles, desk lamps and a giant Slinky. 

To broaden the diversity of those working in the medium of light art, Artichoke is encouraging applications from those who identify as d/Deaf and disabled, and black people and people of colour.

Fostering talent

Helen Marriage, director of artichoke, said: “BRILLIANT has fostered so much creative talenti n the North East since it launched in 2011, and it has been fantastic to see how the winners’ careers have developed, contributing to County Durham’s reputation as a hub for light art. This year, we are delighted to open up BRILLIANT to the whole country whilst continuing to shine a light on local talent, so that anyone with a great idea can have the opportunity to make it a reality.”

To learn more about our Community Foundation match-funding opportunities for businesses, click here