Let There Be Light – Durham Cathedral

27th May 2021

It’s been waiting in the wings during the pandemic year, but now at last visitors to Durham Cathedral can experience the immersive light installation installed in the Cathedral’s 12th century Galilee Chapel.

Let there be light: Durham Cathedral launches new visual arts programme offering hope in recovery

Chris Levine’s LIGHT features a matrix of lasers directed through a crystal crucifix creating a wash of light.  A blipvert appears in the peripheral vision of viewers revealing a fleeting image of St Cuthbert’s Cross – considered one of the great treasures of its time and on display in the cathedral’s museum when it reopens in June.

The piece is accompanied by a soundtrack of sacred choral music by The Sixteen, conducted by the ensemble’s founder Harry Christophers. It includes Among Angels by Durham-born composer Will Todd and other distinguished contemporary composers.

Chris Levine, creator of LIGHT said: “LIGHT draws the viewer into the present moment, the now. It is meditative art to engage and heighten the senses, unashamedly contemporary, yet confidently at home in the historic Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral.

Let There Be Light - Durham Cathedral

“I am not religious but am deeply spiritual. I am humbled to have my work in Durham Cathedral.”

LIGHT marks the start of a new visual arts programme at Durham Cathedral with exciting new announcements expected during the summer.

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, said:

“I am heartened that after such a difficult year, filled with loss and isolation, we are finally able to share this immersive and deeply powerful installation.

“It provides an opportunity for renewal as we in the North East of England come to terms with what we have been through. As we reflect and then celebrate our resilience, LIGHT offers hope.”

LIGHT was commissioned in 2010 by the Genesis Foundation for Holy Trinity Church, London and has been adapted especially for Durham Cathedral and made possible through the generous support of the Friends of Durham Cathedral and the Genesis Foundation.

Michael Galloway, Chairman of the Friends of Durham Cathedral says,

“We are delighted to sponsor such a stimulating artwork. We hope that visitors to the cathedral during this time arrive as pilgrims and leave as Friends.”

LIGHT is the beginning of a new visual arts programme at Durham Cathedral created with support from Arts and Heritage. It is also part of a major programme of activity across all cathedrals brought together by the Association of English Cathedrals as ‘Discover Pilgrimage, Discover Cathedrals’ to encourage people to visit our cathedrals, discover something new, and have the opportunity within our sacred spaces to reflect on the impact of the pandemic.

The soundtrack can be heard here. Or just tap play on the list below.

For information about opening hours and everything needed to plan a visit, see www.durhamcathedral.co.uk