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Artist Commission Call Out - Medway Light Nights


Event details


Fri 26 November 2021


10 Dec 2021


Medway Light Nights is a one-off festival that will transform the iconic buildings of historic Rochester with light, sound and performance.

Taking place on the evenings of 11 & 12 February 2022 the festival is a partnership between Medway Council, Rochester Cathedral, University of Kent, Ideas Test and Cohesion Plus and produced by Emergency Exit Arts (EEA).


The festival is working on several commissions with Ideas Test, Cohesion Plus, Icon Theatre, Lucid Creates, Luke Jerram, 51 Zero and University of Kent Architectural Visualisation students, and we have three small commissions for more Medway artists to make and light artwork to be presented in and around Rochester High Street.

Originally planned for 2020 to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens, the themes of the festival reflect Dickens his life and works, his social commentary and journalism on class, poverty, justice and mental health and how they continue to resonate today. We are also recognising and diversifying the stories of Dickens’ Medway contemporaries, like William Cuffay the political activist, female author & illustrator Anne Pratt.

We want artists, participants, residents and visitors to view his works and the social climate in which he and his contemporaries lived, through the prism of 21st century Medway.


We are looking for artworks to be in and around Rochester High Street and urge all interested artists to have a site visit in advance of submitting a proposal.

For those unable to visit Rochester in advance of the deadline, we can suggest locations and answer further questions at [email protected]


The budget of £3,000 will be made available to cover all artist fees, production, materials, equipment, installation/de-rig, and transportation costs. We are particularly keen to hear from artists who live, work or study in Medway.

Site Infrastructure

The installation will be outdoors and must be fabricated to withstand harsh weather. Stability in wind must be considered. All 240v electrical systems must be waterproof with 16A c-form plugs or similar.

EEA will provide:

  • Power in the form of a generator or batteries and inverters (up to 2.5 kva).
  • Fencing and ballast/anchors for stability.
  • Event security
  • Site and tech crew for assistance on the day

Please clearly specify your power and infrastructure requirements within your proposal.


Public Liability Insurance must be held by the person or company installing the piece. The work must consider Covid H&S. Interactivity would be an appreciated element, but the artwork mustn't encourage the public to linger or touch anything. All installation techniques must be agreed by Medway Council and/or the owner of the building or land in question.

Installation is preferably on the morning of the 11th of February. De-rig will be at 9pm on the 12th of February and the site must be cleared by midnight, if this is not possible a later time could possibly be arranged with notice. Please factor (de)construction times into your proposal.


Submissions should include:

  • A brief outline of the artwork
  • Budget breakdown
  • Materials to be used
  • Visuals and any examples of previous work
  • Power and infrastructure requirement

Please note:

  • Information provided in the commissioning process will be shared with the selection panel.
  • Feedback may be available on unsuccessful proposals, subject to the total volume we receive. 
  • All proposals will be assessed by a selection panel which will include Medway Council and Emergency Exit Arts.
  • Proposals should be no more than four sides of A4, not including budget and images.
  • Proposals should not be more than 5MB.
  • You can submit proposals for more than one project, but a separate proposal must be made for each one.
  • Funding and supporting bodies need referencing on any print or on any static piece as follows: Medway Council, Arts Council England, University of Kent.

Deadline for submission is 10th December 2021.

Interviews will be held on 17th December.

Artists will be informed by 22th December.

For applications and further information enquiries, please email: [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

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