Arts project will see children and adults transform plastic bottles into chandeliers, which will be used as part of the Lumiere light festival Children show off their creations during the workshop at Seaham Library.

An arts project is spotlighting the daily continuing flood of polluting plastic waste.

And the venture will give people the chance to transform plastic bottles into chandeliers to be used as part of Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival.
Durham County Council’s community arts team has organised a series of creative workshops to give people the opportunity to contribute to the festival before it returns to Durham in November.

Commissioned by Durham County Council and produced by Artichoke, the 10th anniversary edition of the Lumiere takes place from November 14-17.
Artist Vicky Holbrough helps children turn plastic bottles into a chandelier at a workshop at Seaham Library.

The free sessions are taking place at all council-run libraries and will see schoolchildren, community groups and families turn used green and white plastic bottles into glittering chandeliers which will form part of an art installation titled Bottle Festoon.

In the UK, 38.5 million plastic bottles are used and discarded every day and only half of them are recycled. This means more than 16 million bottles are put into landfill, burnt or end up in the sea.

Artists Kay Henderson, Vicky Holbrough and Dawn Belshaw will lead the workshops, which are taking place on various dates from now until November 1.

Artist Vicky Holbrough showcases one of the chandeliers which will form part of the light installation.

Councillor Joy Allen, cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism at Durham County Council, said: “Bottle Festoon is such a fantastic project because by creating something beautiful out of plastic waste, it will make people think twice before buying anything in a plastic bottle or throwing their plastic packages and bottles into the bin.

“It is also bringing people together, which is such an important part of Lumiere. The festival attracts visitors from across the region and beyond, but, ultimately Lumiere belongs to the people of County Durham.

“This is their festival and our community outreach programme celebrates this and encourages residents of all ages to get involved.”

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People who attend one of the workshops are encouraged to bring used plastic bottles from home. Green and clear bottles are preferred, but other colours can be incorporated. Similarly, two-litre plastic bottles are preferable, but one litre and 500 millilitre bottles can also be used. All bottles should be rinsed with hot water and labels should be removed.
Bottle Festoon is supported by County Durham Community Foundation, St Margaret’s Centre Durham and Hays Travel. Community engagement at Lumiere is sponsored by Motorpoint.