An interactive artwork will bring to life the hopes of people from across the North East and beyond, as County Durham’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025 gathers pace.
Tree of Hope invites those with a connection to County Durham to share their dreams and ambitions of what could be achieved if the county secures the prestigious title. Their contributions will then be represented within a constantly evolving digital artwork, which will blossom and bloom with each hope expressed.
Created by digital studio Tekja and produced by Artichoke with support from Visit County Durham, Tree of Hope made its debut at last year’s Lumiere Durham. It was the festival’s first-ever digital artwork and was inspired by the county’s history as a place of “big thinkers,” along with its stunning landscapes and dark skies.
For Durham County Council, Durham University and Culture Durham – the partners driving the bid –Tree of Hope was the perfect fit for the Durham 2025 campaign.
Shaped by the people
Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “The Durham 2025 campaign is all about the people of County Durham and we are incredibly proud that our bid to be UK City of Culture 2025 has been shaped by their ideas and ambitions.
“Tree of Hope is another opportunity for people of all ages to share in the excitement of the campaign in a unique and interactive way. Hope is very much at the heart of our bid, both in terms of the transformational benefits the title will bring to the region, and the uplifting experience of engaging in culture.”
The perfect symbol
Tony Harrington, chair of Culture Durham, said: “We are delighted to bring back Tree of Hope following its success at last year’s Lumiere. In many ways, it’s the perfect symbol for the Durham 2025 campaign, reflecting the county’s long history of innovation, our beautiful countryside and our vibrant communities.
“I am really looking forward to seeing how the artwork develops in the coming weeks.”
Those wishing to submit a hope can do so online by filling in a simple form at Tree of Hope.
In October, County Durham was one of eight places from the 20 locations that applied to be longlisted for UK City of Culture 2025. The shortlist is expected to be revealed later this month ahead of the winner announcement in May.
Securing the title would attract millions of visitors to County Durham and the North East, create thousands of jobs, and support the region’s efforts to ensure residents and businesses benefit from the government’s Levelling Up agenda.