Opportunities > ENLIGHT light artist residencies | open to artists from Europe
22 Jul 2016

ENLIGHT light artist residencies | open to artists from Europe


A new EU-funded cultural project, the European Light Expression Network (ENLIGHT), offers international residencies (eligibility: mid-career artists from across Europe) connecting artists with technicians and scientists to create a series of accessible, large-scale public realm Light Art works.

Four funded residency opportunities for mid-career artists across Europe to take part in new international partnerships developing installations that combine light and sound.

Check eligibility conditions (below)

The first round of residencies offered from the newly formed ENLIGHT project invites four European artists to undertake collaborative residencies developing public-realm artwork with technical teams based in Manchester, Stavanger and Rome.

Curated Place in partnership with MIRIAD at the Manchester School of Art (UK), I/O Lab in Stavanger (Norway), and Fondazione Mondo Digitale in Rome (Italy), are offering artists the opportunity to participate in a new programme and network producing and promoting light and sound artworks – exploring the meeting point of art, technology and design. Artists will be invited to undertake several short residencies with their host organisations – supported by their teams of technologists and technicians to create a new public realm work for exhibition in our existing festivals. The residencies are squarely focused on completing production for exhibition outside of traditional art spaces and developing the skills and networks of all involved.

Residencies will take place in the following production windows with hosts:
Manchester: September – December 2016
Norway: September – December 2016
Italy (2 opportunities): Late February – Early May 2017

Artists participating in this first round in Norway and Manchester will exhibit at the 2017 SPECTRA Festival in Aberdeen (Feb 9-12 2017) while the selected Artists in Italy will exhibit at the 2017 Rome Media Festival (Early May 2017) and SPECTRA 2018 (date TBC).


Theme: A New Light

Light plays a fundamental role in the story of Europe, shaping the rhythms and boundaries of social interaction within cities; defining the drive of the enlightenment; and providing the means through which we now overcome the restrictions of geography and time thanks to modern digital communications. As such it precedes, defines, and now enables our cultural landscape.

Across every state in the Union light has played a central role in how both physical and social space has been defined providing a universal language for expression and interpretation. However, each state has negotiated its own unique relationship with illumination through the peculiarities of their built environment, the oral and written histories crystalized within them and the historical social, scientific and cultural interactions with the medium. This complex story delineates those subtle differences and similarities that define a shared European heritage and delineates where out future shared space of identity could lie.

We are inviting artists to escape the ahistorical white cube and set their work within the environment of the cities where we work, inviting creative proposals for developing new works and artists professional practice that will explore how new collaboration with teams that allow artists to explore new technical ground can reinterpret the experience of the built environment in public realm installations using light and sound.

Application Deadline: 22nd July 2016


Applicants must hold a valid passport from and reside in one of the following countries (passport and residency need not be the same state):

EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK

EEA / EFTA countries: Norway and Iceland (not Switzerland)

“Candidate” countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Republic of Serbia, Moldova, Georgia


Artists who have a track record of exhibition and collaboration, who are established in their own region and are at a stage in their career to successfully engage in international collaborations are invited to apply for the opportunity to work with a host arts organiasation in Norway, Italy or the UK through a series of intensive residencies to develop new works.

Through the residency the artist will be required to work closely with their partnering host to develop a new light-based artwork for presentation outside of traditional gallery spaces. We are looking for artists who enjoy working flexibly and are eager to engage in an experimental process – not simply a commission.

Successful applicants will develop a new work with one of the three partnering organisations with support and mentoring from the broader ENLIGHT network in Norway/Italy/UK before having the work exhibited at one of Curated Place’s light festivals in winter 2016/17.


Commitment to the Project:

The project will run a split residency format with each artist being invited to work with hosts over three visits.

The applicant will be required to carry out an initial meeting with their host organisation to meet, familiarise themselves with the tools, resources and personnel available, and devise a project direction then work before leaving to develop these ideas.

The artist will then be invited to undertake two residential visits during the residency window periods (exact timing to be agreed with successful applicant). By the end of the process artists will be required to have an installation ready for exhibition. Installation will take place over three days prior to the Aberdeen festival in February 2017 and artists will be required to be present during the 4 day festival if their work needs operational oversight.

We will provide:
• Hosts’ support and personnel to develop their ideas, and the resources of the host organization outlined below (SEE CHART).
• All travel, accommodation and a sustenance budget
• An artist bursary of €2000 fee ring-fenced from all other costs
• Marketing for the project
• Introduction to local cultural partners and peers in the host cities
• An exhibition of the work in Aberdeen/Rome

The network will deliver a range of festivals, workshops, masterclasses and debates alongside professional development meetings and an online resource for organisations involved. As well as the residencies we will run two focused creative labs welcoming artists and technologists selected from across Europe to Rome and Manchester.

The presentation of these artworks will then take place at the established light and technology festivals/events already run by the partners, including Rome Media Art Festival, the innovative media arts festival Article Biennial in Stavanger, Enlighten Festival of Light and Sound Art in Manchester and the brilliantly successful Spectra, Aberdeen’s Festival of Light supported by Aberdeen City Council’s International Twinning Grant connecting Stavanger and Aberdeen.


  • Steinunn Sigurdardottir, ‘Rhythm Knitting’ [bottom]