Artistic Opportunities

Image Credit: Chris Payne

SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2022

Light Up the North (LUTN) is a network of 5 light festivals across the north of England. In 2022, four of the festivals are joining together to award funding to emerging artists working with light, to produce and exhibit new commissions at their 2022 light festivals.

The SHINE programme aims to nurture and develop new talent, giving artists the opportunity to exhibit or perform new work at four of the LUTN festivals (Light Night Leeds, Light Up Lancaster, Lightwaves at Salford Quays and Lightpool in Blackpool). Up to two artists or collectives will be awarded substantial commissions of up to £10K to realise ambitious new artworks. 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 – December) and transportation across our festival network For 2022, the successful commissions will also need to:
  • Focus on environmental sustainability in their design and embody best practice in their delivery
  • Be of mid/large scale – we are encouraging ambitious proposals
  • Be created for audiences to enjoy/experience even should social distancing restrictions be in operationAs 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. This will all be delivered safely following any relevant government pandemic guidelines current at the time.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 via deadline for submissions is 5pm, Friday April 8 2022Useful Information

    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 be suitable for presenting outdoors at our locations and timescales. We are, naturally, interested in work which, if necessary, cold cater for large socially distanced audiences, and activities or events which are accessible to families.

The LUTN festivals where you will be exhibiting:

Light Night Leeds (Leeds) –
Lightpool (Blackpool) – Light Up Lancaster (Lancaster) –
Lightwaves (Quays Culture at Salford Quays) –

The festival programmes vary and their themes for 2022 are quite broad and you will not be expected to specifically address them. For example, Light Night Leeds has a wrap around theme of ‘Play’ while Light Up Lancaster’s ‘Turning Points’ simply invites artists to reflect those times in life – personal, social, scientific & environmental – when things could go one way or another.

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 award.

How we assess your application

A panel of LUTN partners involved with curating SHINE 2022 will assess all applications. We aim to ensure the selected commission(s) 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 budget?
  • 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 Monday April 4 2022. We will shortlist and arrange interviews with artists where applicable in the 2 weeks following, with a provisional interview dates during w/c Monday April 18 2022.

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 while social distancing? 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 2023 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 2022. Should your proposal fall into this category contact us via the Light Up The North network at: [email protected] 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 all 4 of the commissioning light festivals. You will also need to consider your install / de-rig schedule.Leeds: 13 – 14 October for Light Night Leeds

    Blackpool: 14-29 October, with an Art Trail commencing Monday 17, for Lightpool

    Lancaster: 4 – 5 Nov for Light Up Lancaster

           Salford: 2 – 11 December for Lightwaves

Note: There is a close proximity in dates for the Leeds and Blackpool light festivals. As such, Blackpool has agreed to flexibility in dates for presenting the SHINE commission(s) there.


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.

Terms and conditions.

By applying to be a SHINE artist you agree:

  • Your project/activity will be ready for exhibition at all four 2022 festivals
  • Your work is deliverable within the timescale of the programme and will be delivered on budget.
  • 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 £5 million 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 providedSupportWe 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 8 – Deadline for submissions
w/c Monday April 18 – Interviews for shortlisted artist(s)
w/c Monday May 9 – SHINE induction day – potentially via Zoom June – September – Development period for commission(s)
13– 14 October – Light Night Leeds, Leeds
14 – 29 October – Lightpool, Blackpool
4 – 5 November – Light Up Lancaster
2 – 11 December – Lightwaves, Salford Quays
Dec 2022/Jan 2023 – Evaluation

NB: SHINE commission(s) are subject to each festival receiving Arts Council England funding