Stained glass Robin Reliants gear up for Lumiere festival

This year's Lumiere festival in Durham has geared up a level with the inclusion of three Robin Reliants which have been transformed into works of art

One of Twist Design's stained glass windows for the Durham Lumiere festival
One of Twist Design's stained glass windows for the Durham Lumiere festival

This year’s Lumiere festival has geared up a level. Three Robin Reliants have been transformed into works of art ready for this year’s celebration.

The cars, which have been installed with stained glass windows, will be unveiled at park-and-rides across Durham at Belmont, Sniperley and Howlands and will stay there during the festival, which takes place from November 14.

Artists Stuart Langley and Matt Sayle from Twist Design in Middlesbrough designed the cars.

The pair submitted a proposal for inclusion in Lumiere and their design was one of four projects that was chosen by the “BRILLIANT” initiative.

The scheme offers opportunities for creative people who are based in, or originally from, Durham and the North East, to develop and produce their ideas for artworks using the medium of light to be showcased at the festival.


Other winners included Beth Ross, a Durham-based teacher and mother-of-two, who is currently in her second year of an art foundation course at Newcastle College, and Newcastle artists Sarah Blood and Stephen Newby.

Mr Langley said: “Having worked on the project for so long it was great to see them unveiled and with the lights turned on.

“It was very exciting to see it all finished.

“We are really pleased with them and hopefully people will enjoy them. You don’t usually see anything like this in a park-and-ride and it just makes something very ordinary really interesting and fun for the public.”

Mr Langley, who lives in Hartlepool, said inspiration for the stained glass cars came from Durham Cathedral.

He said: “The inspiration came from the stained glass in Durham and in particular the cathedral. There are some amazing pieces in there and we wanted to use the glass in an unusual format.

“The Reliant Robin then became the subject of the project.”

Lumiere was created by Artichoke in Durham in 2009.

In 2011, the festival returned to Durham, attracting some 150,000 visitors to the city, bringing economic benefits worth £4.3m.

It was commissioned by Durham County Council, and is supported by Arts Council England.

In 2013, Artichoke will produce two Lumiere festivals: Lumiere in Durham, commissioned by Durham County Council, and Lumiere in Derry-Londonderry, UK City of Culture, commissioned by Culture Company 2013.


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