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Blackpool Illuminations

Artist in Residence


 Blackpool Illuminations is delighted to have recently secured a grant from the Arts Council to deliver an exciting new artists’ research and development programme. It will lead to new works being created for the Blackpool Illuminations, Grundy Art Gallery and Lightpool Festival from 2021.

 As part of the programme, we are setting up an artist in residence placement at Lightworks, the bespoke factory and home of the world famous Blackpool Illuminations.

The programme also includes a series of digital commissions to create new work for the promenade, The Blackpool Tower and St John’s Square; and working in collaboration with the Grundy Art Gallery and international artist Dr Chila Kumari Burman on a co-commission that will become part of the gallery’s contemporary light collection.

Brief for the Opportunity:

This is an exciting opportunity for an artist that has a track record in creating imaginative installations for the public realm and has a particular interest and experience in working with light and its many forms.

We are looking for an artist that is interested in providing magical installations that audiences can connect and interact with; that can create work of scale and respond to the challenges of the often hostile natural environment of being outside by the Irish Sea in the autumn/winter.

You will be a problem solver; open to new applications and approaches; and will build on the experience gained in being at Lightworks to further develop your practice; be willing to share your learning with peers; and be interested in experimenting with digital projections on 3D forms.

Lightworks and the facilities/support available during the Residency:

At the Lightworks facility there will be access to structural and electrical engineers, artists, animators and lighting technicians. The facility also offers computer aided manufacturing including Computerized Numerical Control cutting and carving.

The Blackpool Illuminations team, work with a range of experts in the private and public sector to deliver their programme and the artist may want to explore some of these relationships in developing a certain idea. For example, Blackpool Illuminations is working with the Computer Science department at Lancaster University on a commission with fashion designer Jack Irving to create a major new installation on the seafront with an ‘under the sea’ theme. Up to 10 projectors will create an interactive digital carpet on the promenade and a bespoke programme is being designed by the Computer Science department to enable people to interact with the projections.

Depending on the ideas that come out of the residency it is envisaged that new work(s) will be an outcome of the residency for the Illuminations season in 2021 or 2022 and/or for the Lightpool Festival in 2021 or 2022.

Budget for the Residency and Timeframe

 A fee of £5,000 is available for the artist to cover all their time, subsistence and expenses incurred in undertaking the residency. We envisage the artist committing to working with Blackpool Illuminations over an intense period of approximately 6 weeks starting as soon as possible in June 2021 through July 2021 with a proportion of that time spent on site at Lightworks (but not necessarily exclusively).  

 Support will be given to the artist in finding accommodation in Blackpool if this is required with the artist having to use an element of their fee to cover this cost. 

 Materials Budget 

The artist will also have a materials cash budget of £4,000 available to them for purchase of materials and equipment in developing ideas into prototypes as agreed with the Project Steering Group.

Further details


Monday 7 June, 2021
Saturday 31 July, 2021
Venue Address
Shorebury Point, Blackpool

North West , Blackpool

Blackpool Illuminations (opens in new window)