9. Crown of Light

Ross Ashton, Robert Ziegler, John Del’ Nero (UK)

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Back by popular demand, this stunning son et lumiere, which includes images of the Lindisfarne Gospels, was the hit of the 2009 Festival. 

Using images drawn from the powerful history of Christianity in the North East, the visual material has been drawn from inside the Cathedral itself and from one of the most richly-decorated, and important books of all time, the Lindisfarne Gospels. Crown of Light gives residents and visitors a glimpse of the contents of this historic book before it returns to Durham for real in 2013 for the first time since the 17th century.

Durham Cathedral itself has been a place of pilgrimage for a thousand years, its extraordinary architecture and stunning stained glass providing a place of contemplation and sanctuary for thousands of visitors every year. Now the building provides the canvas for an ambitious installation that will transform one of England's most beautiful Norman buildings into a spectacular illumination.  The building was recently voted Britain's best-loved building by Guardian readers.

About the artists

Ross Ashton trained in photography and theatre before becoming an internationally renowned projection artist. Ross specialises in projecting images onto buildings so that the image seems to become part of the architecture. He has created work for the Buckingham Palace, The 800th Anniversary of Cambridge University, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Sunderland Aquatic Centre and York Minster. He works internationally as far afield as China, Europe and the USA.  He recently won an award for his permanent installation "Ishq-e-Dilli" at the Old Fort in Delhi India.  

A native of Los Angeles, Robert Ziegler has lived in the UK since 1981.  He has conducted repertoire ranging from Mozart to Messiaen with most of the major British orchestras, including the LSO, LPO, and RPO, as well as the BBC Symphony, Concert and Scottish Symphony Orchestras. He has given two Proms with his own Matrix Ensemble, and conducted the Adelaide, New Zealand and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras. Musical directions for films include Dream House, There Will be Blood, Norwegian Wood, De Lovely, Hamlet, and Sense and Sensibility. Other recordings include Berlin Cabaret Song with Ute Lemper, Divenire for Ludovico Einaudi and Orchestralli for Stewart Copeland. Robert has received a British RTS Award and a Rose d'Or de Montreux for his work for BBC television and radio.

John Del' Nero began his career in sound in London's West End with work featuring in productions such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Billy Liar and Jeeves. He designed the sound for the original Rocky Horror Show and has worked at the Royal Court Theatre, Royal Exchange, Manchester and Pimlico Opera. Other projects include the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (winning the Kremlin Zoria Gold Plate award), a Military Tattoo on Red Square, public events for the Royal Family, the Royal families of Jordan and Saudi Arabia and the VE and VJ celebrations. He is currently the sound designer for Imagination whose major clients include Ford, BT and Coca Cola among others.

Comments (7)

  • Dear Fead,

    The information about the artists who collaborated on Crown of Light can be found on this page, above.

    If you're after information on the musicians who played as part of Carabosse's Spirit, you can find that information on the individual page here: http://www.lumieredurham.co.uk/programme/installations/spirit/.

    Best wishes,


    - Anna Cook, Artichoke

    04 Jan 2012
  • Is there any administrator in this site? Any support?

    It's been weeks that we've been looking for the name of the Cathedral artist, and no one has ever answered!

    - Fead

    10 Dec 2011
  • I echo Epe Ope's comments - very very atmospheric in the Cathedral and the Cloisters and some haunting music being played - who was the artist because I'd like to get his musuc too if it's available?

    - Peter Robinson

    21 Nov 2011
  • Fantastic night at the Lumiere event.

    In reply to Eric Stepehenson, I took a quick look at the website to print a map and over look information, and on the top ten tips it states to keep pets at home.

    - Andrew Rogers

    20 Nov 2011
  • Went to see the show on Saturday night, It was stunning. The audience were completely silent and mesmerised, the sound was also very efffective. We also went into the cathedral it was only lit by candle and this made a great atmosphere, the show of fire outside was brilliant and if you get the chance to see the show tonight make sure you dont miss this part it's amazing.

    - Brian Nelson

    20 Nov 2011
  • On 18/11/2011 there was an artist in the Cathedral (around 21:00) playing amazing music with his guitar. Could you tell me his name so that I can look for his CDs? Thank you.

    - Ep Oe

    19 Nov 2011
  • Excellent show. Very crowded with thousands of visitors all of whom were happy, impressed, good humoured,and very well behaved. The cathedral was lit inside only by candlelight which was a brilliant idea, harking back to mediaeval times in its history. Stewarding throughout was achieved with a light touch and seemed to work well.
    Prior warning could have advised that it was not wise to take dogs which could be trampled in the dark. Litter rules were well respected but by 9pm the overflowing bins could have been emptied or supplemented. I hope Durham continues to hold future Lumieres.

    - Eric Stephenson

    19 Nov 2011

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