Artist Submissions

Te Ramaroa is a celebration of community, creativity and the wonder of light.

The wonder of light

Since its inception in 2013, Te Ramaroa 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 next Te Ramaroa is on 30 June – 4 July 2023, open to the public between 5:30pm and 9:30pm every evening.

Submission timeline

Artist Submissions are open until 1 November 2022.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page 
for a link to the Artist Submission form.

If you want to talk to someone about your idea before you make a submission, contact Event Director Michaela Blackman on [email protected]

Installations must convey essential qualities of light

Te Ramaroa 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.
Back to life Te Ramaroa 2021

More venues around Nelson

Due to the event's popularity and the huge volume of people attending each year, the Te Ramaroa team moved the 2021 event from its home in Queen's Gardens, to across the city. The result was a resounding success, with installations utilising key sites of the inner city, laneways and urban spaces.

To help stimulate some creative response we have provided some 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 are looking for both large and small scale installations. Successful projects shall utilise light, be achievable, fit for purpose and meet the aims of Te Ramaroa. There is also the possibility of using some indoor spaces, which allow a more controlled environment i.e darkness, sound and security.

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 Te Ramaroa artist selection panel will 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)
  • Due consideration of environmental issues (eg. materials used, post-event disposal of the artwork/installation)

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 Te Ramaroa so please carefully consider all aspects of your project from creation and installation through to the dismantling of your work.
Setting up a display for Te Ramaroa Light Event

Submission Locations

Location Map

1903 Square 

301 Trafalgar St (top of Trafalgar St) 

Located at Upper Trafalgar Street and at the bottom of Piki Mai / Church Steps. Stage, coverage, power access and seating options, as well as beautiful established palms. Situated within a hub of restaurants and bars.


Bank Lane 

Between Trafalgar St & Montgomery Sq 

Laneway connecting Trafalgar Street and Morrison Square, mostly covered and about 4m wide. Ramp and steps at Morrison Square entry, several shop windows/doors on one side of the laneway.


Piki Mai / Church Hill 

Top of Trafalgar St 

Upper Trafalgar Street, Piki Mai and gardens, with power outlets nearby. Heritage steps surrounded by gardens and its established trees, well visible from Trafalgar Street and overlooking the Nelson CBD.

Potential locations include the famous Church Steps, the bell tower and surrounding grounds (including some trees). When considering your proposal, keep in mind that we want the public to stay on the pathways when viewing the works.


Fiddle Lane 

86 Bridge Street into Buxton Sq 

Connecting Bridge St and Buxton Square, this laneway features a large mural on one side, and glass shopfronts on the other, a kite-like installation cover above, curved permanent seats/benches. The laneway sits almost opposite the popular Kirby Lane hub on Bridge Street. Dimensions: Width at street level, 5.6m. At canopy level 3.5 - 4.2m. Lane 28m long. This is well-used thoroughfare that lends itself to neon/blacklight-type artworks, performance or laser/projection.


Kirby Lane 

105 Bridge St through to New St 

Popular open-air community space, often with market and food stalls. Home to the Bridge St Collective & The Kitchen Cafe which both use the outdoor space for seating. Extends to adjacent car park, including a covered area; potentially space for containers/large installations in car park area (New St end). Area beneath neighbouring building 12 x 7.5m. East wall 14 x 6. Lane width 13.7m


Old Bank Lane 

Between Hardy St & Buxton Sq 

Connecting Hardy St and Buxton Squares, baby swing, benches, a bit tucked away/ hidden gem, limited wall space. Variable size with total width of lane 14m.


Queen's Gardens 

Between Bridge & Hardy Streets 

The starting site for Te Ramaroa (then Light Nelson). In 2021, only one light projection was placed in the Gardens. In 2023, we are open to considering submissions for more works. Ideally, the works are located so that the public can view them from the pathway.

Click here for the Artist Submission Form
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