SHINE Artists 2023

SHINE Light Up The North

Light up the North is pleased to welcome the artists Axolotl and Stevie Thompson to our SHINE programme.

The SHINE programme aims to nurture and develop new talent, giving artists the opportunity to exhibit or perform new work at a number of Light Up The North festivals. The artists were selected through an open-call process and will be awarded bursaries of up to £10,000 to realise their new artwork.

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


Axolotl are a group of creatives, technologists and designers who have come together through their passion for light art, sculpture, technology and the sciences. They have freelanced for the last 15 years with some of the biggest arts companies and art tech events in the UK and have joined forces to form “Axolotl” to create work that is both visually stunning and has purpose and meaning at its core. Creating work that is innovative, exciting and vividly beautiful as art but also leaves a legacy of education and inspiration across the breadth of STEAM.

Polyrhythms by Axolotl Creative. A percussive soundtrack interacts with mesmerising glowing patterns of light chasing round large concentric polygon structures representing various polyrhythmic beats. ‘Polyrhythms’ fuses the visual language of light art with music theory to create a captivating sculptural piece, but also an invitation to explore the underlying concept that inspired it.

Stevie Thompson is a talented and innovative fibre optic lighting specialist based in South Shields. His approach of creating customised installations with a theme of flora and fauna is truly unique. His ability to seamlessly integrate his artwork with the environment makes his installations feel like a natural part of their surroundings.

Stevie’s combines his extensive knowledge and passion for fibre optic and LED technology to create animated and colourful effects in his lighting installations. His work is often described as mesmerising, captivating, and awe-inspiring. His innovative use of technology and creativity results in stunning visual experiences for those who have the opportunity to witness his work.

Crystal flowers is a beautiful fibre optic lighting installation consisting of 600 individual hand made illuminated flowers

With a mixture of translucent and transparent plastics, the display is a mixture of subtle glows and reflections, which draw you in and catch your gaze.

The twisting winding stems, the petals, stigma and stamen will all glow with captivating colour changing light which, with programmed effects will seem as if they are moving around and dancing in the wind.

Crystal flowers is an on-site installation which looks as if a bunch of flowers  has sprouted from the earth beneath our feet.  Hundreds of recycled plastic bottles have been carefully cut, moulded and shaped by hand into realistic flowers of different sizes and shapes, everyone of them being unique.

A display that is a reminder to take your time more often, be mindful and appreciate the stunning natural world around us and re-connect with nature. 

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