The Light of Day

Current project Featured 2021

Showcasing artists in England whose projects have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, in celebration of our 20th anniversary.

Please note that the deadline for this opportunity has passed, and submission are not being accepted.

Key Dates

  • Applicants informed of results: Week commencing 14th June 2021
  • Project period: July 2021 – June 2022


The COVID-19 / coronavirus global pandemic has affected all forms of artistic practice, with many artists unable to showcase work due to galleries closing and exhibitions being cancelled or postponed.

For The Light of Day, 5 invited selectors will choose 2 artists each to be featured in one of our monthly newsletters between July 2021 and June 2022. Each of the featured artists will receive an award of £150.

The selectors will also choose a further 5 shortlisted artists each to have an image showcased on our Instagram page. These 25 artists will receive a £50 fee.

Artists based in England at any stage of their career applied with a single image of:

  • Plans
  • Ideas
  • Works in progress
  • Drafts, or
  • Completed work

that they had agreed plans to exhibit, which were cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, never seeing the light of day.

We encourage applications from artists who are from under-represented groups in the arts on the basis of gender, sexuality, disability, ethnic origin, socio-economic background, and maternity / paternity.

In addition to The Light of Day, we are also seeking artists to work on commissioned images for upcoming projects/research for Artquest.

The Award

  • For selected artists:
    • Your image, biography, links and a short statement about your work featured in one of our monthly newsletters between July 2021 and June 2022.
    • The same information and image featured on our Instagram page.
    • A fee of £150
  • For shortlisted artists:
    • Your image, biography, links and a short statement about your work on our Instagram page
    • A fee of £50


To be eligible to apply for the award you must:

  • Be an artist based in England at any stage in your career.
  • Submit work that was intended for an exhibition that was cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
  • Have permission from the commissioner/organisation to use the work/images submitted.


  • Amanprit Sandhu – A London based curator and writer with a focus on commissioning, performance-based practices and collaborative approaches to working
  • Kirsty Ogg – Director of New Contemporaries, the leading UK organisation supporting emergent art practice from UK art schools and alternative programmes.
  • Mary Cork – Co-founded ZELDA, a new proposition for an arts advisory, using fees earned from art consultancy to create free professional development platforms for artists underrepresented by existing commercial models.
  • Alessio Antoniolli – Director, Gasworks & Triangle Network , a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation working at the intersection between UK and international practices and debates.
  • Ben Yau – A Chinese-Scots visual artist based in London. A graduate from Camberwell College of Arts in the study of Fine Art Photography in 2019 and in the same year was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries as well as Creekside Open.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will decisions be made?

All applicants informed of results (date). We will respond to all applicants to let them know if they have been successful or not.

Will you give feedback on applications?

We recognise that feedback on applications is an important professional development process for artists. While we aim to provide feedback to all applicants who request this, previous open submissions have attracted several hundred applications, making detailed feedback from our small part-time team too onerous. We expect a very high demand for this award. If you are unsuccessful and request feedback on your application, please be patient while we process these requests.

I still have questions

If you still have queries please email Sheree McKay.