Celebration will mark 50th anniversary of town landmark and 1969 moon landings

Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee is 50 this year.
Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee is 50 this year.

A milestone celebration is set to be held later this month to celebrate the 50th birthday of a town landmark.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of Victor Pasmore’s iconic Apollo Pavilion, Artichoke, the UK’s leading producer of art in the public realm, have commissioned Berlin-based collective of artists and architects Mader Wiermann to create an installation that will reflect the Brutalist architecture of the structure.

This will be followed by an education programme culminating in a new showcase of work at Lumiere in November.

Taking place over two nights from Friday, March 22 - Saturday, March 23, from 6pm-9.30pm, the installation has been commissioned by Durham County Council and launches a year-long programme of community activity and engagement celebrating the anniversary of the Apollo Pavilion and 100 years since the founding of the German Bauhaus School of Art.

The Pavilion remains a rare UK example of a large-scale experiment in the synthesis of art and architecture.

Named after the Apollo moon landing it represents a bold vision and modernist optimism which underpinned the architecture of Britain's New Towns.

Pasmore was also influenced by the theory of form developed by Bauhaus artists such as Josef Albers.

Mader Wiermann will transform the brutalist facade of the Pavilion with a light and video mapping installation, celebrating these three major sources of inspiration which artist Victor Pasmore drew on when designing the structure.

The installation will allude to the moon landings with projections of the shadow of the Apollo landing shuttle. The installation will also incorporate monochrome geometric patterns, which reflect the Bauhaus style, and out of these bold lines will emerge amorphic forms which evoke the paintings of Victor Pasmore and will temporarily transform the Pavilion into a moving, flowing structure.

Following the installation in March, Artichoke will also deliver a community-based learning and education project.

The project will see 15 local young people invited to take part in a series of masterclasses in partnership with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama BA course in Video Design for Live Performance, with the resulting new work showcased at Lumiere in November 2019.

Helen Marriage, Artichoke CEO, said: “This is an exciting addition to the work we do with Durham County Council for Lumiere and a wonderful opportunity for us and the artists Mader Wiermann to make a unique artwork for this iconic structure.

"It is a year of anniversaries: 50 years since the Pavilion was unveiled, 50 years since the Apollo landings on the moon, 100 years of Bauhaus, and 10 years of Lumiere.

The project will also mark a deepening of Artichoke’s educational work around the Lumiere festivals in 2019 and 2021, with a programme of masterclasses in partnership with Guildhall School of Music and Drama, through which young people from Durham will be able to access specialist higher education and career opportunities in the field of lighting and video design.”