• Durham OnAir

Luxmuralis at Durham Cathedral is a glowing success


Audiences were wowed at Durham Cathedral last week as the dazzling sound and light installation, Life by Luxmuralis, was shown in the North East for the first time.





From 12 - 16 October, visitors experienced Durham Cathedral in a whole new light as from 6.45pm every evening, the cathedral was flooded with colourful light projections and immersive music.

The show was sold out from the first night with over 12,300 people visiting the cathedral during the five night run. This was the first time Life by Luxmuralis was shown in the North East, and earlier this week Durham Cathedral announced that artist collective Luxmuralis will return to the cathedral with a different show in October 2023.

Andrew Usher, Chief Assistant Officer of Visitor Experience and Enterprise at Durham Cathedral, says, “We’ve been blown away by the public response to Luxmuralis here in Durham. Where the installation has been shown in other cathedrals ticket sales are generally at around 60% sold on opening night. Here at Durham Cathedral we’d sold 98% of tickets as we opened the door on the first night and by the end of the evening all tickets had gone. We’re delighted that so many people got to experience the event this year and appreciate that due to its popularity not everyone who wanted a ticket was able to get one. With its return next year we’re already looking at how we can welcome more people to this highly sought after event.”

Those who did visit were keen to share their colourful videos and pictures on social media, with some describing the display as ‘fantastic’, ‘stunning’ and ‘immersive’, whilst others defined it as ‘calming’, ‘dreamlike’ and ‘emotional’.

The financial success of the event will help Durham Cathedral to be resilient in the face of high costs this coming winter, supporting the care of the cathedral buildings and enabling the team to continue to provide a warm welcome to visitors. The cathedral receives no statutory funding and relies on the support of those who visit for prayer, worship, events or heritage to continue its mission and ministry.

Andrew continues, “We know how much visitors love visiting the cathedral after-dark and with affordable ticket prices we saw new visitors coming to experience this spectacular show and regular visitors returning to see the cathedral in a new light. As well as the installation which took people on an immersive journey through earth, sea and sky, we also temporarily removed the pews and brought people into the Nave from a different route, giving visitors a different perspective and a new ‘wow’ moment in the cathedral.”

The artwork's intention was to bring the natural world to life and give people an opportunity to pause and reflect on their responsibility to protect it. The projections are based on the colours of cathedrals around the country and the stories of the Bible, ensuring that the experience is reflective of the place of worship in which it is shown.

Luxmuralis forms part of Durham Cathedral’s visual arts programme, which aims to bring different experiences into the cathedral for the enjoyment and interest of the diverse audiences in County Durham and from around the UK.

To find out more about events and services at the cathedral visit www.durhamcathedral.co.uk