A STAGGERING simulation of the sun 100 million times smaller than the real thing suspended in the sky will be one of the key attractions in a winter festival of light in the North-East.

Other new installations featured at Lumiere, in Durham City, will be an animated elephant conjured up in a huge 3D projection and stickmen coming to life and taking over the former Durham Miners’ Hall.

The producers Artichoke today (Wednesday, October 2) unveiled the full programme for the third Lumiere festival, which will transform Durham into a wonderland of light from November 14 to 17.

The festival commissioned by Durham County Council will be spread further afield beyond the city centre this year, with some of the 27 installations displayed at the Durham University science site and in the city’s park and ride spaces.

The festival will be more tightly controlled following concerns about overcrowding at the popular event in 2011. Tickets will be required to access the Peninsula from 4.30pm to 7.30pm – most of which have been snapped up.

Launching the event at Durham’s Gala Theatre, Helen Marriage said: “Lumiere has become a fixture in the cultural calendar of the North-East.

“It brings some of the world’s most eminent artists to Durham and attracts attention around the world.

“From the awe-inspiring, to the contemplative to the simple, fun and quirky, Lumiere is about transformation – of places, people and perceptions.”

Artworks announced today include an interactive model of the sun, by the Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano Hemmer. Solar Equation, featuring sunspots and flares, will be located at Durham University’s Science Park.

Elephantastic, a giant 3D promenading elephant by French design studio Top’là will walk through the ancient gateway that once stood on Framwellgate Bridge.

French artist duo Atsara will fill the nave of Durham Cathedral and the gardens behind it with a glittering and hypnotic installation of dancing sparks and shafts of light resembling fireflies appearing and disappearing into the dark.

In the cathedral cloisters, Korean artist Taegon Kim’s Dresses will form a ghostly trio of larger-than-life garments that shimmer and shift in colour.

An interactive jukebox, projected onto the front of the Milburngate House, home of the NS&I building, is a new commission from the Media Workshop. It is sponsored by the developers of Freeman’s Reach, a consortium consisting of Carillion Developments, part of Carillion plc, North East property business Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP.

County council leader Councillor Simon Henig said: “Lumiere Durham 2013 promises to both entertain and amaze with a mix of technology and spectacle.

“The range of light installations and the changes made to the way the event will run look set to deliver a truly world class festival once more.

“And importantly, one which will deliver significant and lasting economic benefits to the county.”

More information visit www.lumiere-festival.com or follow @artichoketrust, #lumieredurham on twitter or on www.facebook.com/artichoketrust.