SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2023 – Callout!
SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2023
Light Up the North (LUTN) is a network of 9 light festivals across the north of
England. In 2023, eight of the festivals are joining together to award funding
to emerging artists working with light, to produce and exhibit new
commissions at their 2023/24 light festivals.
The SHINE programme aims to nurture and develop new talent, giving artists the
opportunity to exhibit or perform new work across the LUTN festivals (Light Night Leeds,
Light Up Lancaster, Lightwaves at Salford Quays, Lightpool Festival in Blackpool, Light Night
Wigan & Leigh, Illuminate Oldham, Nightfall Middlesborough and BD is: LIT at Bradford).
Up to three artists or collectives will be awarded substantial commissions of up to £15K to
realise ambitious new artworks. Proposals that require less funding to achieve will not be
discriminated against. Some basics – the artwork(s) will need to:
• Be suitable for outdoor winter light festivals
• Be artistically challenging/interesting and of high quality
• Be structurally resilient enough to withstand the winter weather at multiple festivals
(October – Feb) and transportation across our festival network
For 2023, the successful commissions will also need to:
• Focus on environmental sustainability in their design and embody best practice in
• To design artworks for reuse – materials/equipment- building onto what happens at
the end of the exhibition.
• Be of mid/large scale – we are encouraging ambitious proposals
• Be created for audiences to enjoy/experience/engage with
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. Please read the full information and FAQs before submitting your application
The deadline for submissions is 5pm, Friday April 21 2023
What can you create?
We are specifically looking for artists with bold, fresh ideas that may also have the potential
as light artworks to be enjoyed as a ‘roaming’ or ‘multi-site’ experience for
audiences. Proposals must be for work of a contemporary nature, possibly utilising digital
technology, where the creative use of light is the basis for the idea. The artwork needs to
be weather-proof, able to withstand strong winds, be structurally sound (if applicable) and,
preferably, be suitable for presenting outdoors (although indoor pieces will be considered)
at our varied locations and timescales. We are interested in work which can cater for large
audiences, especially projects with the potential for engagement in either the making or
operation of the piece, and activities or events which are accessible to families.
The LUTN festivals where you may be exhibiting
Light Night Leeds (Leeds) – http://www.lightnightleeds.co.uk
Lightpool (Blackpool) – https://www.visitblackpool.com/things-to-do/festival
Light Up Lancaster (Lancaster) – http://lightuplancaster.co.uk
Lightwaves (Quays Culture at Salford Quays) – http://quaysculture.com
BD is: LIT (Bradford Light Night) – https://www.visitbradford.com/whats-on/bd-is-litp1908781
Wigan and Leigh Light Night – https://www.thefirewithin.org.uk
Illuminate Oldham – https://www.oldham.gov.uk/directory_record/17795/illuminate
Nightfall Middlesborough – https://stellarprojects.co.uk/product/nightfall
The festival programmes vary and their themes for 2023 are quite broad and you will not be
expected to specifically address them. The locations of the festivals are also varied with
urban, parkland, industrial and city settings.
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 commission
How we assess your application
A panel of LUTN partners involved with curating SHINE 2023 will assess all applications. We
aim to ensure the selected commissions will be high-quality work and afford the best
experience for artists, audience members and locations.
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
• Project management – can the piece be created within the time available? Is the
work durable enough for the festival dates? What materials are you using when
considering the environmental impact and outdoor display?
When will you find out?
The deadline for submissions is Friday April 21 2023. We will shortlist and arrange
interviews with artists where applicable in the 2 weeks following, with a provisional
interview dates during w/c Monday May 8 2023.
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 interesting 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 type of location(s) you would like to use and how work will be
delivered on the night.
N.B. Each festival is currently in the planning phase for their 2024 events so we are also
interested to hear about exciting, distinctive proposals from light artists that are likely to
require a longer development period or might exceed the available budget for SHINE
2023. Should your proposal fall into this category contact us via the Light Up The North
network at: https://lightupthenorth.com/contact
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 and tour to
some of the commissioning light festivals. You will also need to consider your install / de-rig
Leeds: 12 – 13 October for Light Night Leeds
Blackpool: 20-28 October for Lightpool
Lancaster: 2-4 Nov for Light Up Lancaster
Bradford: 3-4 Nov for BD is: LIT
Wigan: 17-19 Nov for The Fire Within
Middlesborough: 29 Nov- Dec 3 for Nightfall
Salford: 7-10 December for Lightwaves
Oldham: 23-24 Feb 2024 for Illuminate
The SHINE commission will include 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, although reasonable travel
and transportation costs will be considered separately . Accommodation can be provided
by the host festivals if required. Other costs such as meals and general overheads must be
factored into the commission. The successful proposals will be supported with agreed
additional fees towards the costs of site visits.
Terms and conditions
By applying to be a SHINE artist you agree:
• Your project/activity will be ready for exhibition at our 2023/24 festivals – (Note: if
you have a brilliant idea/concept that cannot be achieved for SHINE 2023 we
welcome proposals that may meet festival dates in subsequent SHINE programmes)
• Your work is deliverable within the timescale of the programme and will be delivered
• To attend an initial induction, production meetings and site visits where reasonably
• You must have relevant Public Liability Insurance for your activity, to a minimum £10
• To supply, in advance, copy and images for marketing purposes as and when
• To provide evaluation feedback on completion of the commissioning fund, in line
with the framework provided
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
- Friday April 21 – Deadline for submissions
- w/c Monday 1 May / 8 May – Interviews (0nline) for shortlisted artist(s)
- w/c Monday 15 May – SHINE induction day – potentially via Zoom
- June – September – Development period for commission(s)
- 12– 13 October – Light Night Leeds, Leeds
- 20 – 28 October – Lightpool, Blackpool
- 2-4 November – Light Up Lancaster
- 3–4 November BD: Is LIT, Bradford
- 17-19 November, The Fire Within, Wigan
- 29 November – 3 December, Nightfall, Middlesborough
- 7-10 December – Lightwaves, Salford Quays
- 23-24 February (2024) – Illuminate, Oldham
- Dec 2023/March 2024 – Evaluation
NB: SHINE commission(s) are subject to each festival receiving Arts Council