Londonderry Lumiere light show 'attracts 180,000'

Sculptures
Image caption Illuminated human sculptures called 'travellers' have been placed around the Peace Bridge

Almost 180,000 people have visited Derry to see Lumiere, a giant light show, according to the group that runs the UK City of Culture year.

The city was transformed with 17 light sculptures and other installations across buildings for four nights.

The city has already welcomed thousands of visitors this year, hosting events like The Turner Prize and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

Organisers of the light show said the festival atmosphere was "incredible".

Lumiere was organised by Artichoke, a London-based creative company that specialises in the production of large-scale public art events.

"Producing Lumiere Derry-Londonderry has been an extraordinary experience," said Artichoke's co-director Helen Marriage.

"It has been a joy to see the fruit of all the hard work over the last 18 months.

Image caption Neon puppies have been a major attraction at Lumiere for children and adults

"Producing an event with 17 separate art projects anywhere is an enormous challenge, and all the more so, when no-one quite knows what to expect.

"The people of Derry-Londonderry have embraced Lumiere with open arms. Their response has far exceeded our expectations and we've loved every minute of it".

'Perfect finale'

The buildings and the city's Peace Bridge were lit up between 17:30 GMT and 22:00 GMT until 1 December.

Among the newly commissioned works was Teenage Kicks, by artist Deepa Mann-Kler.

The work was inspired by the pop song of the same name, which was the biggest hit of Derry band, The Undertones.

The 30m-long neon sign reading "A teenage dream's so hard to beat" sat on top of the city's BT building and could be seen across the city.

The Edwardian department store building, Austins, was wrapped in an audio-visual projection called Voyage.

The Austins store displayed a colourful tale of time travel, inspired by the stories of the French novelist Jules Verne.

Image caption The fire garden at St Columb's Park in the Waterside

Culture Company Executive Programmer Graeme Farrow said: "Lumiere worked on every level.

"It showed the city in the best possible light, it allowed both locals and visitors to see it afresh, and it invited people to take part.

"I always believed that it could provide the perfect finale to the year and it was everything we hoped for.

"I stood at the top of St. Columb's Park with my family on Saturday night looking out over all of the fire and that beautiful cityscape and thought wow."

Imaginary world

City centre manager Jim Roddy said Lumiere "brought huge economic benefits to Derry".

"The pressure is on now to make sure we have more weekends like this for businesses and job prospects."

A 23m-long neon feature was also placed on top of the Rosemount shirt factory.

Human-like illuminated sculptures were placed around the Peace Bridge.

Schoolchildren had their names and art splashed across the Clock Tower building at the former Army barracks in Ebrington Square.

Eight schools worked with Portuguese artists Ocubo to make Twice Upon A Time, the animation that features an imaginary world.

For the four nights of the festival, a fire garden was held at St Columb's Park.

The fire garden grew into life and gradually died away before the end of the festival.

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