Light Up The North - SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2018

Deadline: 08/06/2018  |  Published: 09/05/2018  |  City: Leeds, Salford, Blackpool, Lancaster, Gateshead  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Abbe Robinson

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Light Up the North (LUTN) is a network of 7 light festivals across the north of England. In 2018 they are joining together to award bursaries to emerging artists working with light, to produce and exhibit new commissions at 5 of their 2018 light festivals.

SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2018

The SHINE programme aims to nurture and develop new talent, giving artists the opportunity to exhibit or perform new work at 5 of the LUTN festivals (Light Night Leeds, Lightwaves at Salford Quays, Enchanted Parks in Gateshead, Light Up Lancaster and LightPool in Blackpool). Up to four artists or collectives will be awarded bursaries of up to £4,000 each to realise their new artwork. The artwork has to be suitable for a winter light festival, artistically challenging/interesting and of high quality, have a strong element of digital/technology within its design, and be resilient enough to withstand the winter weather at multiple festivals (September - December) and transportation across our festival network.

As well as financial support, each artist will also receive training and mentoring from across the LUTN partnership. We will work directly with commissioned artists to create a bespoke package suitable to their development, which could include setting up as a professional artist, marketing, finance, production, risk assessments or event management. 

To be eligible to apply to the SHINE programme you must be an artist who is perceived as an emerging talent (regardless of age) with the ability to achieve their ideas to a high quality. We are specifically looking for artists that involve digital technology in the making and outcome of their proposal. Please read the full information and FAQs before submitting your application via CuratorSpace.  

The deadline for submissions is 5pm Friday 8th June 2018

Useful Information

What can you create?

We are especially interested in showcasing interactive work which requires direct engagement from audiences.  Proposals must be for work of a contemporary nature, which utilises digital technology, and the creative use of light.  Artwork needs to be weather-proof, able to withstand strong winds, be structurally sound (if applicable) and be suitable for presenting outdoors at our locations and timescales.  Performance based work is also permitted and artists would be expected to deliver at least three 15 minute performances throughout two evenings per festival.  We are especially interested in work which can cater for large audiences, and activities or events which are accessible to families.

The LUTN festivals where you will be exhibiting:

Light Night Leeds (Leeds) –

Lightwaves (Quays Culture at Salford Quays) –

Light Up Lancaster (Lancaster) -

LightPool (Blackpool) -

Enchanted Parks (Gateshead) -

NB Each festival will provide standard infrastructure support for your arriving artwork, however all artists fees and artwork production costs must be factored into your bursary award.

How we assess your application

A panel of LUTN partners will assess all applications and curate a mixed programme based on the submissions received.  We aim is to ensure a variety of high quality work and the best experience for artists, audience members and venues.  They will assess the applications based on 4 areas:

  • Artistic quality – the strength & quality of the idea and the artist’s previous work.
  • Public experience- who it is aimed at and how will the public engage with it?
  • Financial viability – can all elements of the activity be delivered effectively within budget?
  • Project management - can the piece be created within the time available and is there a suitable space for the activity?  Is the work durable enough for the festival dates? What materials are you using when considering the digital and outdoors?

When will you find out?

The deadline for submissions is Friday 8th June 2018.  We will review applications and arrange interviews and site visits with artists where applicable over the following 2 weeks.  We aim to let all applicants (successful and unsuccessful) know by Monday 25th June 2018.

Things to consider when completing your application:

  • Be clear about your project aims and the artistic idea behind the work.  How can you demonstrate quality through examples of your previous work?
  • Be specific about who your work is aimed at.  Can the public engage with your work in an interactive or immersive way? What do you want the audience to get out of your work, and what impact will it have?
  • Demonstrate how your project can be realised for the budget available. If you require match or additional finance for your project let us know which funding schemes or sponsorship you plan to apply for.  (Please bear in mind that Light Night is partly funded through Arts Council England and you therefore may not be eligible for additional funding through any of their schemes.)
  • Give a clear indication of how your project will be managed from start to finish including the venue you plan to use and how work will be delivered on the night.


Our festival activities generally start at 6pm and finish at 11pm, and run from 2 days to 10 days depending on which festivals your work is selected for. You must produce an artwork that can exhibit for this period of time (or over two nights if it is a performance based work) and tour to 3-5 of the light festival events mentioned above. If a performance piece, you will need to be able to either perform a short durational piece which can be repeated throughout the evenings (with suitable breaks). You will also need to consider your install / de-install plans.


The £4,000 maximum SHINE bursary includes all artist fees and materials. If needed you can apply for match funding from other sources such as Leeds Inspired or Arts Council England, but ensure you have planned and prepared to do this.  Funding will be given to artists based on the quality of their idea and will need to include all technical, installation, operational and material costs including travel / transportation and parking.  Accommodation can be provided by the host festival if required. Other costs such as meals and general overheads must be factored into your bursary.

Terms and conditions

By applying to be a SHINE artist you agree:

  • Your project/activity will be ready for exhibition at the festival events the LUTN partnership select it for (multiple).
  • Your work is deliverable within the timescale of the programme and will be delivered on budget.
  • If your activity is interactive, it will be sufficiently strong enough to withstand use by large audiences.
  • To attend marketing, production meetings and site visits where reasonably required.
  • You must have relevant Public Liability Insurance for your activity, up to £10million cover.
  • To support the LUTN partnership and individual event marketing campaigns, supplying in advance copy and images as and when required and utilise social media and blogging as well as being available to give interviews to the press and media.

NB SHINE bursaries are subject to LUTN partners receiving Arts Council England funding.


We can offer successful applicants:

  • Production advice and practical support, including technical support where suitable and agreed in advance.
  • Health and Safety management.
  • Site security, staff and volunteer stewards.
  • Project PR and marketing including all promotional materials and special events.

Key Project Dates:

Friday 8th June 2018 - Deadline for submissions

W/c 18th June 2018 - Interviews for shortlisted artists

Mon 25th June 2018 - Commissions announced

July – Sept 2018 - Development period for projects

4th & 5th October 2018 - Light Night Leeds, Leeds

25th - 27th October 2018- LightPool, Blackpool

2nd & 3rd November 2018 - Light Up Lancaster

4th – 9th December 2018 - Enchanted Parks, Gateshead

7th – 16th December 2018 - Lightwaves, Salford Quays

Jan – Mar 2019 - Training and mentoring programme


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
If you are a new or emerging artist who has not exhibited / performed extensively, you are eligible for the SHINE emerging artist programme.
When is the deadline?
The deadline for submitting applications is 5pm on Friday 8th June 2018.
Can I show work which has already been completed?
We prefer to commission new work which has been made specifically for the SHINE programme, but we are also open to considering pre-existing work if it will be significantly developed for our festivals through a SHINE bursary . The artwork cannot be shown elsewhere before it has toured to all of the nominated LUTN partner festivals in 2018.
Do I have to be based in the north of England to apply?
No. Applications are open to any artist based in the UK. However, you will need to attend site visits to the nominated festival locations so please factor these costs into your budget.
If I am successful in my application, what else will I be expected to do / submit?
You will be asked to attend an interview and/or site visit before you are given a final decision on your project. If commissioned you will need to send us text and images by the copy deadline to ensure your project information is included in the event programmes and other marketing. It is very important for you to attend a site visit for the festival locations you have been nominated to use and conduct a risk assessment. You will need to submit your risk assessment and any supporting documentation required by the H&S deadline.
I have a great idea but am unsure how to make it happen.
The LUTN partners have technical experts on hand to help with the ‘how do I..?’ questions and they are very approachable. Please get in touch before you apply with any questions.
Do you provide technical equipment?
You need to factor hiring everything you need into your budget. Please bear in mind that all electrical equipment needs to be placed under cover [inside a marquee or a weatherproof structure/box] or it needs to be IP rated equipment, which is designed for outdoor use.

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