Art and Energy – Solar Art Inspires New Ways Forward in Exeter
A new business called Art and Energy is starting up in Exeter to help put the city at the forefront of new and exciting ideas for Solar Panel based art works. These renewable energy sites that are also art works could be developed over the next few years that really tell a different story across the city.
This new venture is being supported by Exeter City Futures, who are committed to helping Exeter become energy independent and congestion free. Art and Energy is working hard towards this vision.
Gosbert Chagula, heading up the start up programme at Exeter City Futures, says:
“Art and Energy started with us a couple of months ago. They are making strides partnering with Exeter University, Exeter College, Exeter Community Energy and GB Sol to examine the possibilities for a more sustainable future for the city. Exeter needs creative solutions in the mix…”
Art and Energy is being led by Exeter Pioneer, Chloe Uden. She sees and understands the potential for new pieces of solar photovoltaic art that will make electricity, and, at the same time, be beautiful or interesting installations with a story.
“This could be a first for Exeter. You know what solar panels look like right….well think again! The black rectangular solar panels we are all used to is about to change. Did you know that they can incorporate colour, curves and flowing lines? Did you know the tech is fairly easy to work with? Solar photovoltaics could be an art material of the future!”
Most people are not really interested in energy generation, but with these art works Art and Energy hope to create better and more sustainable places at the same time as some inspiration. They could be places to plug in, spaces that educate about art, energy and nature, or just beautiful energy inspired images.
Solar art works are beginning to be created around the world. New technologies are being developed with new solar cell colours, dyes, the use of prisms and luminescence. Exeter University is busy hosting research into many aspects of trapping the suns rays. Exeter could be the first city in the UK to host an art work that makes a difference to the electricity bill and create a new magical space.
Some recent examples of solar art include a lit up Van Gogh Roosegaarde cycle path in Amsterdam (see above), in which pieces of coloured glass takes in solar rays in the day and glows at night with Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. There is also a water front stained glass piece in Toronto by Sarah Hall (see below) that holds some community art at the same time as fixing the energy to light the building it is in.
Naomi Wright worked with Chloe on art and energy projects in the past, at RegenSW, a Renewables advisory body. Naomi has joined Chloe again in this new venture. She said:
“We would love to know what people living here think of this project. If you want to catch up with some ideas, present your own or make something solar there are some events to come along to in the city. Look out for the Art and Energy Open Space in Paris Street in the middle of May.”
This is an opportunity to work together to innovate and transform Exeter into a world-leading renewable art city. Come along and find out how to be part of this amazing journey.