Light Up The North - SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2019

Deadline: 03/06/2019  |  Venue: Various  |  City: Leeds, Salford, Lancaster  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Leeds City Council

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Light Up the North (LUTN) is a network of 6 light festivals across the north of England. In 2019, three of the festivals are joining together to award bursaries to emerging artists working with light, to produce and exhibit new commissions at their 2019 light festivals.

SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2019

The SHINE programme aims to nurture and develop new talent, giving artists the opportunity to exhibit or perform new work at three of the LUTN festivals (Light Night Leeds, Light Up Lancaster, Lightwaves at Salford Quays). Up to three 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 outdoor winter light festivals, 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 (October - December) and transportation across our festival network.

As well as financial support, each artist will also receive a full induction to the programme, as well as training and mentoring from across the LUTN partnership. We will work directly with commissioned artists to support their development, with guidance in areas such as marketing, finance, production, risk assessments and fundraising. 

To be eligible to apply to the SHINE programme you must be a UK-based 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 Monday 3rd June 2019

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) –

Light Up Lancaster (Lancaster) -

Lightwaves (Quays Culture at Salford Quays) –

The festival programmes vary and the descriptions below are for information purposes only. It will be useful for you to consider these in your application, but the themes are quite broad and you are not expected to specifically address one or all of them.

2019 Festival themes/focus:

Light Night Leeds - Mind, Body & Spirit

Light Up Lancaster - Into the Skies

Lightwaves, Salford Quays – Digital interaction  

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 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 components and outdoor display?

When will you find out?

The deadline for submissions is Monday 3rd June 2019.  We will shortlist and arrange interviews with artists where applicable in the 2 weeks following, with a provisional interview date of Monday 24th June 2019.

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 the festivals are 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.

NB Each festival is currently in planning phase for 2020 so we are always interested to hear of bold proposals from artists that exceed the £4000 budget and/or require a longer development period.


Our festival activities generally take place in the evenings, for the dates periods listed below. 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 all 3 of the commissioning light festivals. You will also need to consider your install / de-rig schedule.


The £4,000 SHINE bursary includes all artist fees and materials. If needed you can apply for match funding from other sources, 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 and transportation. Accommodation can be provided by the host festivals 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 all three 2019 festivals
  • 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 an initial induction, production meetings and site visits where reasonably required.
  • You must have relevant Public Liability Insurance for your activity, to a minimum £10million cover.
  • To supply in advance copy and images for marketing purposes as and when required
  • To provide evaluation feedback on completion of the commissioning fund, in line with the framework provided

NB SHINE bursaries are subject to each festival receiving Arts Council England funding.


We can offer successful applicants:

  • Production advice and practical support, including technical and producing support
  • Training and mentoring
  • On-site production support including security, event staff and volunteer stewards
  • Profiling through festival PR and marketing campaigns

Key Project Dates:

Monday 3rd June 2019 - Deadline for submissions

Monday 24th June 2019 - Interviews for shortlisted artists

w/c Monday 24th June 2019 - Commissions announced

w/c 1st July 2019 – SHINE induction day

July – Sept 2019 - Development period for commissions

10th – 11th October 2019 - Light Night Leeds, Leeds

1st - 2nd November 2019 - Light Up Lancaster

6th – 15th December 2019 - Lightwaves, Salford Quays

Dec 2019/Jan 2020 - Evaluation


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 Monday 3rd June 2019
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 2019.
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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