28 NOV – 1 DEC 2019

Illuminate light festival invites you to propose a light based installation work
for the 2019 festival. The deadline for proposals is 1st April 2019.

Illuminate light festival is a powerful immersive experience, offering audiences beautiful projection mapping; playful light art installations; joyous performances and myriad opportunities to engage, participate and make. With light art created by artists, technologists, designers, architects, performers and children alike, the festival responds directly to the core values of Mayflower 400: Freedom, Humanity, Imagination, and Future.

In 2018, Plymouth’s Illuminate event saw the Royal William Yard transformed by interactive artworks, projections and light-art installations. Works were created by local, national and international artists, alongside students from Plymouth College of Art, the University of Plymouth and local school children. The festival welcomed 28,000 visitors across the 4 days of the event.

Illuminate forms part of the wider Mayflower 400 programme and will go on to lead a national moment during Thanksgiving celebrations in November 2019 and 2020, to connect Mayflower partner destinations across the UK and internationally.

Plymouth is a city of incredibly talented makers and a vibrant and growing cultural scene, with a plethora of creative opportunities. The team behind Illuminate was established by the University of Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art, Real Ideas Organisation and Plymouth Culture, in response to the city’s growing creative and digital sector; to celebrate local talent and to create collaborative cultural experiences and opportunities that develop and recognise talent.


Illuminate 2019 is seeking exciting proposals for light art installations and projections that will captivate, inspire and interact with audiences, whilst encapsulating the following Mayflower 400 values:

Freedom: The liberty of the individual to pursue their beliefs
Humanity: We do not discriminate, we are for everyone
Imagination: In the spirit of the Pilgrims we think big, we improvise, and we innovate
Future: We always look forward, building knowledge and legacy

This call for proposals is specifically for commissioning:

  • Light art installations
  • Projection mapping
  • Interactive/participatory artworks

We’re looking for proposals that will give audiences an immersive and powerful experience across 4 days of activities, and we will consider proposals that have the potential to grow year on year culminating in a larger scale piece for 2020.






Art Gallery





We highly recommend you take a look at the map before starting your application as the curatorial process will be based on these locations and themes.

We encourage you to specify your preferred location in your proposal.  However, please note that your preference can not be guaranteed in every circumstance.  The final programme, themes and locations will be curated by the Illuminate team and should your proposal be selected, we reserve the right  to work with you to secure a location that best fits your artwork, in the context of the festival. We do not foresee any complications here but we feel it important to notify applicants of this, in advance of your submission.


Please read before you apply!

Outdoor Festival
The event will take place across multiple locations and most activity will be outdoors.  Your work will need to be robust enough to withstand rain and wind.

If an indoor space is required, please specify this in your proposal.

Please submit a detailed budget.  This should include artist fees, creation, production and installation costs.

Please note that Illuminate may not be able to fully fund your work. We encourage you to pursue other sources of funding as well as in kind opportunities, please identify any opportunities for these in your budget.


All proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Technical feasibility
  • Creative concept
  • Financial viability
  • Audience experience


I’ve identified a location I really want to use for my work but the EOI says that the Illuminate team may want to suggest other locations, why?

Our ambition is to provide an immersive and powerful experience for our audience and this will be at the forefront of our minds when we are selecting the artworks that will feature at the event.  This, and practical implications may mean that we need to change locations. If selected we will discuss options with you and find the best possible location.

You have asked about the technical equipment I need for my work but I don’t know at this stage, what shall I put on the form?

It helps us to know as much information as possible  about your work so please indicate to the best of your ability the equipment you might need. If you’re not sure yet, let us know and one of the production team may call you during the evaluation process to talk through your submission so we can get a better understanding of what you want to achieve.

I have a great idea but I don’t have any experience of what I would need to bring it to life, what shall I do?

Look at our emerging artists call for proposals which is a process tailored so that our production team can work with artists to bring ideas to life.

What additional paperwork will I be expected to supply to support my work?

If selected we will provide an artist agreement which will outline our expectations from you as an artist and us as the festival producers.  We will require a risk assessment and you will be responsible for your own insurance for the work. Evidence of this will be requested at the same time as a signed agreement.

If my work is selected how long will I have to install it?

We will have 3 – 5 days before the event opens to the public.  We will provide a schedule for installation and work with all artists to ensure they have the support needed.

Will I be able to test my work prior to the event?

 If selected, our production and technical team will discuss the possibility of testing your work prior to the event.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes. We have no limit on submissions per artist/collective.


To make an application please fill in our online application form. Please make sure you have read through all the application criteria carefully and include all the necessary information required. You must fully complete and submit this application in order to be considered for Illuminate light festival 2019.

The deadline for proposals is 1st April 2019.