Opportunity: Light Night Leeds 2018 – Centenary Cities Projection Commission

As part of the national Centenary Cities project marking 100 years of women’s suffrage, Leeds City Council is looking to commission a new video-mapping and soundscape project for the city’s annual Light Night Leeds event. We are looking for artists to create an exciting and ambitious artwork to re-imagine the façade of the historic Leeds Library building on Thursday 4th & Friday 5th October 2018.

Light Night Leeds is a multi-arts and light festival which takes over Leeds City Centre on two nights in early October.  Now in it’s 14th year, it is a highly anticipated event in the city’s cultural calendar with over 50 artworks and performances presented across 10 zones in the city.

The commissioned new work will be exhibited on the Leeds Library building on Commercial Street on the evenings of Thursday 4th October and Friday 5th October. The Leeds Library is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year.  Founded in 1768 it is the oldest surviving subscription library in the UK.  For this year’s Light Night event we would like to see the creative use of video mapping and sound on this historic building to fit with the overarching festival theme of ‘Progress and Innovation’.  In this instance, we would like the artwork to focus on social change, specifically the experiences and activities of renowned Leeds Suffragettes Leonora Cohen and/or Mary Gawthorpe.

The work should be durational to be played repeatedly throughout the evening.  We are open to a range of different visual styles including abstract, cinematic or animation.

Examples of previous projection work at Light Night Leeds can be viewed here:

Theatre of Illumination, Civic Hall, 2014 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TErb_YWtRec

The Phoenix in the Stone, Civiv Hall, 2016 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdHKOHNfBaE

Out of the Aire, Civic Hall, 2017-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpuUVfvr3AY

Harlequin, Queens Hotel, 2017 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55_B579UM5E

Light Night Leeds has a broad and varied audience so the commissioned artwork must have cross-generational appeal and it is important that the work does not include any elements that would cause offence to the general public.

Expressions of interest to this open call are invited from experienced artists, filmmakers or animators to deliver a new unique work for the people of Leeds and visitors to the city.

Commission Requirements

  • The commission must be for original work designed for Light Night Leeds 2018.
  • The artwork will be required to run for approximately 3.5 hours each evening (7.30 -11pm).  The work should be designed to be looped over the course of the evening, and the piece should be approximately 5 minutes in duration. The artwork needs to include a countdown clock at the end of the piece counting down to the next showing. This may need to include sponsors and funders logos.
  • Project delivery to take place 4th & 5th October 2017. NB Work must be ready to test on the building on Wednesday 3rd October.
  • Projects must be deliverable within the specified budget and to the agreed timescales.  The Light Night team can provide the successful artist with access to relevant archive material and local/national women’s suffrage experts through Leeds Museums and Galleries, as well as technical advice and support in the develoment phase.
  • Artists are expected to be in attendance during the testing and exhibition of the work.  It is essential that you oversee the delivery and work in collaboration with technical teams.
  • Applicants must proactively work with Light Night Leeds and the LCC marketing team to help create a buzz about the commission i.e. participate in press interviews, attend VIP Launches.


  • Deadline for submissions – 5pm Wednesday 26th June 2018
  • Interviews –  Tuesday 3rd July 2018
  • Commission Awarded – Friday 6th July 2018
  • Project delivery – 4th & 5th October 2017


  • The budget for content creation is £7,500.
  • Budgets must include all artistic fees (including all travel/accommodation), project development and content production.
  • Light Night Leeds will be responsible for all technical and infrastructure costs including: technical equipment hire (incl. projectors, media server and PA system), projection tower/venue, event security, power/electrical, fencing/barriers, and Light Night project management.

For more information and how to apply, please click here. 

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