Artists' Submissions

Light Nelson is a celebration of community, creativity and the wonder of light.

Since its inception in 2013, Light Nelson has become one of Nelson’s largest and favourite biennial events, enticing thousands of people to venture out on a dark winter’s night.
The fifth Light Nelson event will be held from the 3rd – 7th July, open to the public between 5.30 – 9.30 pm each evening.

Installations must convey essential qualities of light

Light Nelson reflects the artistic strengths and spirit of the Nelson community. It brings together technology, art, science and fantasy in the darkness of winter and installations offer a multi-sensory experience celebrating light. Important elements are the use of new technology, environmental sustainability, delight, illusion, interaction and movement. The installation is not simply a lit form but must convey essential qualities of light.

More venues around Nelson

Due to the events popularity and the huge volume of people attending each year, the creative team has made a conscious decision to shift more installations into the Nelson CBD utilising key sites of the inner city, Laneways and urban spaces for the 2020 event.

To help stimulate some creative response we have provided more detailed information on some of these key sites in the interactive map below. Hover over the key sites to see examples of some of the interesting features of these areas.

We will also be partnering with MakeShift Spaces for the next event so there is the possibility of utilising some indoor empty retail spaces for works. These spaces will enable a more controlled environment i.e darkness, sound and security.

We are looking for both large and small scale installations. Successful projects shall utilise light, be achievable, fit for purpose and meet the aims of Light Nelson as outlined above.

We encourage installations that utilise new or alternative technologies (e.g. solar power).

We also encourage performance and collaborative projects especially those that involve community development and participation with a focus on social and/or educational outcomes.

Selection of Art Works

The Light Nelson artist selection panel shall consider all submissions received.

Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Aesthetic appeal, design and relevance to the specified or preferred site
  • Quality of design
  • Work history and experience
  • Suitability to the outdoor environment, location and durability
  • Interactive elements
  • Creativity
  • Community participation or involvement
  • Technical demands
  • Risks (Health & Safety concerns or potential for vandalism)

Installation & Safety

The selected artists will be responsible for the construction and installation of the artwork. We can provide advice regarding resource or building consents where appropriate. If engineering specifications are required these costs should be included in the proposed budget.

The health and safety of our contributing artists and the public is a priority for Light Nelson so please carefully consider all aspects of your project from creation, installation and dismantling of your work.


Submission timeline

Artists’ applications have now closed - thank you.          Successful applicants will be notified by 30 November 2019.

Location Map

Click on a location to see details and pictures