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Crowdfunder Success!

In November 2020 Plymouth Energy Community and Art and Energy CIC launched a Crowdfunder campaign to hold free Moths to a Flame creative activities in Plymouth throughout 2021. Ours was one of seven within the Plymouth Climate Challenge hosted by Plymouth City Council. We not only raided our £25,000 target, but also completed our stretch target, raising an amazing £45,189!

These funds will enable workshops in schools and community groups, online events, solar artwork making sessions and more… We’ll post further details on our website and social media in the New Year.

A huge thank you to everyone who supported, pledged, and shared this with their networks. The rewards are on the way to pledgers!

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Time to evaluate!

CIF partner logo

As a small and relatively new organisation we at Art and Energy can be guilty of rushing from project to project… a bit like our Marny the Moth in ‘A Moth’s Whisper’.  (One element of our Moths To A Flame project).

When we think about the pressing need for change in the light of climate change, urgency can seem like the only way forward… and yet slowing down to evaluate is a vital part of any project or organisation – how else can we optimise our message and plan future projects to have a positive outcome? 

Plymouth Culture host a Cultural Investment Fund, a collection of NPO’s based in Plymouth. They’re supporting us to undertake a series of activities to look back on our work to date. In particular, we’re interested in how creativity can give participants the opportunity to pause, think and find solutions – to encourage collaboration towards a greener, cleaner, fairer society.

We began by creating a questionnaire that we emailed out and shared on social media. Thank you to the 62 respondents who gave us fantastic feedback and recommendations. If you have feedback on your interactions with us to date, or ideas for future actions then please don’t hesitate to email us at hello@artandenergy.org.  We are always interested to hear your thoughts.

Our next step is to have conversations with some of the organisations that we are working with and aspire to work with. We are particularly interested in the idea of using creativity to talk more, make ideas happen or take action about our energy systems and other environmental issues.

Questionnaire Results

Here are just a few of the results that we collected….

We asked for three words to describe Art and Energy. We are thrilled with these beautiful words. They are displayed here in a wordcloud showing terms used 2 or more times across the results and the size of font set by frequency of use.

Creative : 14 

Inspiring/inspirational : 13

Innovative : 10

Energetic : 4

We asked respondents to describe their relationship with Art and Energy. ‘Friend’ was overwhelmingly used the most. We like to think of the Art and Energy Collective as being friendly!

We asked people to tell us whether we’ve made a difference to them. In particular people reported

  • an increase in interest and understanding of renewable energy, the climate crisis & COP26, and moths.
  • Being inspired to be creative.
  • Feeling better and more hopeful
  • and connecting people in conversation.

We’ve also encouraged people to make tangible changes such as changing to LED lightbulbs, and repairing instead of buying new.

The majority of respondents recognised Eco-anxiety as being a problem for people they knew.  More than half said that they suffered from Eco-anxiety themselves.

We asked what people liked about Moths to a Flame.  Nearly everyone mentioned participation, collaboration and involvement. The ‘Wow’ factor and the aesthetic of the project were also important, as was the climate theme.

We were overwhelmed by how many respondents generously offered their time, support and expertise. 

The Art and Energy Collective is just what it says on the tin… a collective! If you would like to get involved then please drop us an email at hello@artandenergy.orgWe’d love to work with you!

This project has created as part of the Cultural Investment Fund, with the support of:

CIF partner logo
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Light Up Stonehouse – with Cliik!

Light up stonehouse banner

We’re working with the Plymouth community group Cliik on an exciting project in North Stonehouse. Throughout December members of the community are decorating perspex rectangles with designs to celebrate the area that they call home.  These will be added one-per-day to three wooden tower frames in the window of the Cliik space, ‘The Talk Shop’ on Wyndham Place… a sort of alternative advent calendar!

In January the Art and Energy team will spend a day adding solar cells to the artworks (hopefully with open doors so that the community can join us in hands on creativity… but we’ll see what the Covid restrictions allow!).

The towers will each form a solar charger, generating electricity to charge batteries that will be used in future projects including illuminated parades! 

These are just a few of the beautiful artworks that have been created… to see more why not visit the Talk Shop, or check out @Cliik  on Facebook!

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The Power of Craft!

Solar Cell Photo by Matt Austin

Back in September the Crafts Council invited Art and Energy director Jenny to speak at an online event titled ‘The Future of Craft Education’. All of the days inspirational speakers are available to watch on the Crafts Council’s Vimeo account.

Jenny spoke during the final session of the day which focused on the potential for craft as a cross curricular bridge. This is something that many in the Art and Energy Collective have experienced outside of a traditional school setting; with creative members discovering a new interest in the science and engineering behind solar, whilst those with a more technical background have experienced the joy of getting creative,

In April 2020 Jenny was due to go into two secondary schools in Cornwall to run solar artwork making workshops… these workshops have now been postponed to March 2021 due to Covid.

If you would be interested in inviting the Art and Energy team to run an event in your school or community group then please contact us!

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Cockington Court – UV Moths

In November 2020 the Art and Energy Collective created a UV installation composed at Cockington Court in Devon. #CourtMoths was made of hundreds of hand-crafted moths cut from plastic milk bottles, and decorated with black and UV marker pens.

We began by setting two moth traps at Cockington Court in order to find out more about local moths. We also asked the local community to share their moth stories with us, and to create their own plastic moths to add to the installation. 

Check out the videos below to find out more…

The finished installation!

Instructions to make your own moths!

Art and Energy in residence at Cockington Court making moths!

This video shows us setting up two mothtraps at Cockington Court, and then returning in the morning to reveal our moth visitors… great inspiration for our milk bottle moths!

Do you have any stories or photos of moths visiting Cockington Court?
We would love to hear from you! Email us at hello@artandenergy.org, or pop a note through the Cockington Court front door letterbox, f.a.o Moths To A Flame.

For more info keep an eye here, on the hayloft windows and @CockingtonCourt on Facebook.

Download your copy pf the template sheet here

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Peg Moths – Creative fun!

One of the makes you’ll find in our #MothsToAFlame activity pack is clothes peg moths. They’re pretty simple, using materials that you will find in most homes. Here Zoe is to show you how much fun they are!

Zoe particularly enjoyed playing with her moth next to a lamp to cast shadows. This lead to a great conversation about how moths are attracted to light, and the many benefits of turning our household lights off when we leave a room.

Download your FREE activity pack here.  We would love to see your peg creations… share them with us at hello@artandenergy.org or via social media using #MothsToAFlame.

 

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Solar Stars : unveiled!

In August we wrote about an exciting project we were working on in partnership with Knowle West Media Centre and the wider Filwood community…. well we’re thrilled to announce that the resulting solar stars are now installed at Filwood Community Centre!

They were revealed at a fantastic Walk of Hearts and Stars event, complete with socially-distanced lantern parade and brass band!

 

We ran a workshop  through Zoom, where members of the community painted their own designs onto perspex stars. We then added solar cells and LEDs to create solar-powered illuminated artworks. During the day the solar cells charge a battery. At night they twinkle with colour changing LEDs.

The names at the centre of each star are community members who were nominated for going above and beyond during the Covid lockdown this summer.

 

We were particularly impressed by the variety, vibrancy and love that had clearly been put into each of the 28 painted star designs. Lush!

 

This year has been very tricky in terms of running creative workshops, so we would like to say a huge thank you to Fiona and her team at The Factory at Knowle West Media Centre who gave us this chance to further develop our socially distanced offering. 

If you are interested in running a similar project then do get in touch. Alternatively check-out the ‘Make your mark’ and ‘solar art workshop’ rewards in our crowdfunder www.crowdfunder.co.uk/moths-to-a-flame-pec

Testimonial

‘Collaborating with Art & Energy has been fantastic, resulting in a really engaging and informative online workshop session with accompanying workshop packs that were very well received by the participants, and the finished decorated Stars with their solar-powered lights look AMAZING! They have been so flexible and easy to work with throughout the whole process, and really got on board with the community co-design element that was so integral to the project.’ (Fiona @ KWMC)

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Plymouth Art Weekender

On the 25th to 27th September 2020 Art and Energy took part in Plymouth Art Weekender. We exhibited a range of our work to-date including solar artworks.

We particularly focused on #MothsToAFlame, with an installation of UV moths in the aptly named ‘caterpillar room’. The community-decorated moths were accompanied by a soundscape created by Art and Energy Collective’s Ali Pym. She combined poetry by Matt Harvey and Thom Boulton along with music by Dan Morgan to create an immersive atmospheric experience.

We had planned a makers table for visitors to get creative, but were unable to do this due to the Covid situation. Instead, visitors were able to chose a moth to bring to life using the Quiver Vision AR app, and to takeaway a free  MTAF activity packs to explore at home.  Download your free activity pack here and create an AR moth here. 

In this year or social distancing leading to increased isolation, we particularly loved meeting so many  people who were enthusiastic to add their voice to the whisper heading to COP26!

Find more ways to get involved through our crowdfunder here.

Our participation in the weekend was made possible by funding and support from Arts Council England and Plymouth Energy Community.

We were thrilled to be awarded soup funding by Plymouth Art Weekender, enabling us to giveaway lots of Moths to a Flame goodies. The pollinator-plants were particularly popular, thank you to Sarah for  generously donating them.  

We are grateful to Plymouth Octopus Project whose funding enabled us to adapt our offering to the Covid-situation.

Last, but certainly not least, we couldn’t have done it without the support of our amazing hosts for the weekend, Nudge Community Builders.

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Moth’y weekender!

After month’s developing within our Covid-enforced cocoon, this coming weekend our ‘Moths to a Flame’ project will emerge in splendid glory. There are many ways to get involved….

Watch Moths (to a flame)

Join us via Zoom for our monthly double-bill ‘Watch Moths’ event. 

Friday 25th 8-9pm & Saturday 26th 8-9am

This month we will visit Plymouth Energy Communities solar array at Ernesettle, finding out more about the technology and ecological diversity. We will also visit our moth experts across Devon as they set up their traps, and return on the Saturday morning to see their stunning mothy visitors!

Plymouth Art Weekender

Visit us at The Plot on Union Street, 11am – 4pm.

We will have an installation of UV lit moths and AR Moths, solar artworks, and free activity packs and moth-friendly plants to take home with you.

We’re collaborating with Pollenize CIC and Plymouth Scrapstore to promote the importance of pollinators, and with Plymouth Energy Community to generate conversations about our relationships with energy. Pop along to find out more!

Our hosts, Nudge Community Builders, will be carefully controlling numbers in the venue to ensure safe social distancing. Please wear a mask or face shield.

Plymouth Art Weekender is a city-wide event with lots of venues to visit. Find out more at www.plymouthartweekender.com

Plymouth Art Weekender 2020. 25th-27th September

Other ways to get involved with the #MothsToAFlame project include:

  • Writing a moth or energy themed poem and submitting it to our poetry slam…. there are some rather lovely prizes! Deadline 16th October. More info here.
  • Decorating your AR moth colouring sheet, bringing it to life using the app, then sharing your recording with us. More info here.
  • Ordering your copy of ‘The Moth’s Whisper’ illustrated story book, here. 
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Community workshops : Solar Stars!

Over the last couple of months we’ve been developing a rather special project with Fiona from The Factory at Knowle West Media Centre. Their Walk of Hearts and Stars project will remember local people lost during the Covid -19 lockdown (hearts), and celebrate those who have gone above and beyond to help the Filwood community during these difficult times (stars).

We’re very excited to be working on the stars… and have come up with a plan for 28 solar-powered colour-changing illuminated artworks, which will be decorated by Filwood residents through a socially-distanced online workshop!

We’ve put together creative packs including a perspex star, vinyl stickers, paints, inspiration sheet and instructions. Local residents signed up through eventbrite to join us at a zoom workshop event (recorded so that it could be shared with those unable to join us on the day).

Each participant will reverse-paint their design onto their perspex star, which will be collected and returned to us. We will remove the vinyl stickers to create windows in the paintings, add solar cells and electrical components. The team at The Factory have designed beautiful wooden laser-cut star frames… it’s all a wonderful heart-warming team effort!

The design is based on Jenny’s ‘Lockdown Location’ artwork, though in this case we’ll be jazzing things up with colour-changing LEDS… adding a magical twinkle to highlight the special stars who have been nominated for their amazing actions!

The stars will be exhibited in Filwood as part of a community event in the Autumn.

If your interested in running a solar artwork project then do get in touch: email jenny@artandenergy.org. We’re happy to adapt our existing workshops to suit your situation… we certainly never imagined that we would be running workshops by Zoom, but our Cooperative project proves that it can be great fun!