County Durham SME, Parsons Containers Group, will see its shipping containers in a whole new light, when they go on display to hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Lumiere light art festival later this month, as part of an installation created by local students.

The Sedgefield headquartered business, which supplies shipping containers for sale and hire to clients across the UK, has donated nine 20ft containers to students from Durham Sixth Form Centre to feature in their bespoke adaptation of Are Atoms Alive?

The short film has been developed by the college in collaboration with Portugese artists Ocubo, and Storybox from New Zealand, and was inspired by the question asked by the six-year-old son of one of the artists.  The film, which incorporates imagery of Durham city, comprises of seven screens spread across the nine containers which take visitors on a journey from the sparkling expanse of the galaxies to the depths of the cells dividing in our bodies.

Lumiere 2019 marks 10 years since the festival’s launch and takes place at venues throughout the city from Thursday, 14 November to Sunday, 17 November.  Produced by leading arts charity Artichoke, the UK’s largest light festival, will see Durham City re-imagined through 37 dramatic installations, dynamic projections and reflective works, which showcase the diversity and creativity of light art.  As part of this year’s festival programme, Artichoke invited a range of community groups and individuals from across County Durham, including Durham Sixth Form Centre, to take part in the creation of artworks.

Parsons Containers was approached by Durham Sixth Form Centre to supply the containers, after providing the college with nine 20ft containers in 2015 for the Precious installation.  During the first project the containers were fitted with electrics and shelving to house projectors which showcased pre-recorded stories from members of the public about things that held sentimental value to them.

Ean Parsons, CEO of the Parsons Containers Group, says he is delighted to support the Lumiere festival for a second time.  He comments: “Lumiere is a fantastic event and is a brilliant way to showcase Durham in a different light, to both new and returning visitors. Parsons Containers is delighted to support the event once again and we’re really looking forward to seeing the installation created by the students with Ocubo and Storybox. The 10th anniversary Lumiere programme promises to be the most exciting yet and as a business with roots firmly in County Durham, it’s a privilege to be associated with the festival.”

Helen Marriage, Director of Artichoke said: “This amazing free event has developed its worldwide reputation only because local and regional businesses, organisations and individuals recognise its value and contribute to making it happen. The festival is made with and for its community.”

The Are Atoms Alive?  Installation is also being supported by Kier and the Embassy of Portugal and Creative New Zealand and will be on display at Durham Sixth Form Centre for the duration of the festival.

Lumiere is produced by arts charity Artichoke, the UK’s leading creative producer of art in the public realm, and commissioned by Durham County Council, with additional support from Arts Council England, Durham University and a host of further funders and supporters. For further information visit www.lumiere-festival.com