Schoolchildren’s art will light up Durham Cathedral – Tunnel of Light

15th February 2023

Over 130 local schoolchildren have helped create a new art installation that will light up the cloisters of Durham Cathedral this spring.

Schoolchildren’s art will light up Durham Cathedral this spring as a testimony to local heritage

Postponed due to the Covid pandemic, Tunnel of Light by artist Mick Stephenson will finally go on show from this Saturday (18 Feb) and is made up of Perspex discs that will cast colourful shadows by day and are lit by LED at dusk.

The discs once joined together create a stained-glass window effect in three of the arches of the cloisters made famous as a Harry Potter film location.

Each of the discs that make up the display has been individually designed by children from one of five local schools to commemorate Durham’s rich mining heritage and imagine a brighter future for all.

Sarah Dellar, Learning & Engagement Team Leader at Durham Cathedral said:

“Tunnel of Light is going to be a wonderful temporary artwork in the cloisters and a great addition to our February Half Term programme of crafts and activities. We would encourage families to visit to see the installation during the school holidays as it will be stunning by day and lit in the evenings. 

“We hope our visitors take the opportunity to pause and spend a moment appreciating the North East mining history that we’re proud of as a community and see how the next generation has beautifully imagined a brighter future for our planet.”

The involvement of schools in the creation of the artwork was made possible by funding from the East Durham Rural Corridor Area Action Partnership which enabled 138 children from five local primary schools to take part in a series of workshops.

The workshops saw children taking inspiration from Artichoke who organise Durham’s biannual festival of light ‘Lumiere’, as well as learning more about Durham’s proud mining heritage, and creating the artwork itself.

The children will also come to the cathedral to see the finished installation later this month.

Tunnel of Light opens on Saturday 18 February in time for the half term holiday and durham cathedral has a packed week of family craft activities and other events.

The cathedral is free for everyone to enjoy whether you’ve never been or visit regularly and asks for donations to support the ongoing conservation of the cathedral.

For more information visit:

Tunnel of Light – 18 February – 16 March