Primary school children from across County Durham will soon be assembling solar powered lanterns that when put together will form an important part of the diamond theme installation titled Diamond Garden (2023) at this year’s Lumiere. The free-to-attend, four-day event will take place from 16-19 November 2023 in Durham.
Combining art with technology, Kromek Group plc has partnered with Artichoke, the producers of Lumiere, who have tasked the Sedgefield-based technology firm with designing a solar powered diamond shaped lantern that can be assembled by the children, whilst maintaining the ability to inject their own artistic flair.
Artichoke, in collaboration with OASES, Durham University Science Engagement and the Durham Energy Institute are working with primary schools across Durham and Bishop Auckland to educate young people on the importance of renewable energy and teach them about the evolution of energy.
Once completed, the diamond lanterns will be suspended around local artist, Mick Stephenson’s large-scale diamond installation creating an illuminated diamond garden in a new commission for Lumiere.
Lumiere, the UK’s light art biennial, will once again transform Durham city’s streets and buildings into captivating light installations. Beyond the lights, Lumiere’s established Learning and Participation programme and volunteering opportunities have benefitted over 12,000 local people and schoolchildren since 2009, inspiring ongoing artistic endeavours and providing learning resources.
John Atkins, head of product design at Kromek said: “This project has been an incredibly rewarding experience which more importantly provides important life lessons for our younger generation.
“By working in collaboration with Artichoke, this project proves that innovation, art, and education can come together to create something truly remarkable.”
CEO and Co-founder of Kromek, Dr Arnab Basu said: “At Kromek, we believe in the power of innovation and education, and our partnership with Artichoke UK Trust for the Durham Lumiere festival perfectly embodies these principles.
“This year we celebrated our 20th birthday and to mark the special occasion each employee at Kromek has dedicated 20 hours of volunteering to projects that can have a real impact in the local community.
“John’s knowledge and expertise have provided immense value to a project which has shown many children how powerful it can be when you combine art with technology.”
It’s been a pleasure to work alongside Kromek on Diamond Garden. They were up for the challenge and responded with keen interest and enthusiasm to be involved in a project that engages the Durham community. Their knowledge and confidence in helping create the diamond lanterns were essential and they’ve been an important link in tying the educational and creative elements to this exciting, new installation.”