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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!

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The Moth’s Whisper

New moth inspired artworks emerge from lock down cocoon in Devon ready to respond to the climate emergency.

Exeter based writer and Illustrator Miranda Barlow has been busy during lockdown writing a new picture book called ‘The Moth’s Whisper’ and it will be publish this Friday with a public reading via Zoom at The Art and Energy Collective’s free Watch Moth’s event.

‘The Moth’s Whisper’ tells the story of Marny, a newly emerged Yellow Underwing moth as she looks for the moon and discovers the world of humans.

Have a look inside the book!

As we are all returning to the world from our cocoons of isolation, we might also see more clearly how energetic and distracting our civilisation is and how much needs to change for us to respond to the climate emergency.

This lovely illustrated picture book is “A strong and clear encouragement for young people to get involved to make a change for the better.” – Steve Voake

What to expect at August’s free Watch Moths zoom celebration

This month’s online ‘Watch Moths’ Zoom event will take place at 8-9pm on Friday the 21st August and 8-9am on Saturday the 22nd August. You can book a place online.

The free family friendly event will explore real and imaginary moths of Devon and includes:

  • Moth trapping with experts from Devon Moth Group
  • New Moth-er Dave Neale who will show how he made his own moth trap
  • Fabulous artworks from Sarah Gillespie,
  • Poetry from Plymouth’s poet Laureate Thom Boulton and the newly formed Mandy Moore Band Club
  • A free augmented reality colouring sheet that you can print off, colour in and get to flutter around your room with the QuiverVision app
  • As well as an invitation for you to participate in the creation of a Mass Participation Art Installation called Moths to a Flame for COP26 (The UN’s conference on Climate Change that’s due to take place in the UK in November next year)!

 

 

We invite you to join Miranda and the ART and ENERGY Collective to hear the story of Marny the Moth and find out how to join in this Friday’s Watch Moths Zoom event coming from locations all across Devon.

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Watch Moths (July) – Poetry!

At this months WatchMoths we met a dazzling array of Devon moths, plus Art and Energy introduced their augmented reality colouring sheet…

…but I have to say that my highlight was the poetry provided by poet and Art and Energy Collective member Matt Harvey.

On the Friday evening we were treated to a short film of Matt reading ‘Moths to a Flame’, a poem that he wrote especially for the project. He then invited the audience to send him their moth-inspired words as we watched our moth’ers open their traps and reveal their catches on Saturday morning. With barely any time, Matt combined these words and then performed ‘Watch Moths’, a crowd-sourced poem!

 

If you feel inspired to write your own prose about moths and/or energy then we’ve got great news…

…we’ve launched the Moths to a Flame Poetry Competition.

It’s free to enter and there are prizes! More info here.

The next Watch Moths  is on the 21st & 22nd August. Tickets are available here.

If you missed July’s Watch Moths then please click on the videos below to watch in your own time.

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International Day of Cooperatives

Did you know that Saturday 4th July 2020 is the International Day of Cooperatives? We think that our Moths To A Flame project is a great example of a cooperative in action, one which has grown significantly over the last few months as we’ve nudged the project to include more digital content.

The Art and Energy business model is a fairly informal collective. We have members and partners with knowledge and experience in all sorts of areas: from Plymouth Energy Community who are proactively seeking change in our domestic energy situations, to Dave and Jo at Lasercutz who are helping us cut solar cells to re-imagine solar panels as beautiful solar artworks, and Miranda who has written and illustrated a beautiful children’s book for Moths to a Flame. One thing that we have in common is a growing concern about the climate crisis, and a desire to see change to benefit our environment. Together we hope to make a difference.

Over the last few months Covid-19 has meant that our meetings have all been held through a computer screen. We have become increasingly confident and fluent in conversing by email and Zoom, but we’ve really missed being able to get together to create and catch up over a solar artwork project and cup of tea! When our partners at PEC told us that the International Co-operative Alliance had chosen the theme of ‘Climate Action’ for 2020, we wanted to do something fun to celebrate and join in… the International Day of Cooperatives has given us the perfect opportunity to get creative  again!

Jenny put together little creative packs that went out in the post to eight of our collective. We then met up one evening via Zoom for a project update and a bit of a tutorial. Each participant painted a moth onto a square of glass, then returned them.

The next stage is to add solar cells nestled within the moth paintings, then combine them to create a single large interactive solar artwork. In the next week or so Jenny will send creative packs out to more of our collective… if there’s one thing it’s made us realise it’s quite how many amazing people we’re working with, this cooperative artwork is set to grow!

As with most of our projects the final piece is already evolving, but that’s the joy of having lots of lovely people cooperating together creatively!

This mini-project was inspired by a conversation with Plymouth Energy Community, who have funded the short film to be released on International Day of Cooperatives, 4th July 2020.

 

Development of the project has been funded by Arts Council England through Jenny’s individual grant. We have found a way to work at a distance, plus Jenny’s using this opportunity to experiment further with the electronics powered by our cooperative solar artwork… keep an eye out here for further progress reports!

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Watch Moths – Episode 1& 2 – 26 & 27 June 2020

The Art and Energy Collective present Watch Moths, the first in a series of moth watching events that people can join in with live via zoom. (Visit our moth events page for more information)

This event is part of Art and Energy’s Moths to a Flame project which is supported by Arts Council England and national lottery players.

During this zoom recording you will find out about the Art and Energy Collective as well as some of our partners including Plymouth Energy Community and you will find out about the beautiful moths of Devon.

Meet our moth experts John Walters, Amy Walkden Dave Barker and Simon Bates and find out more about how to look for moths near you!

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Oak Gall Ink recipe – Moths to a Flame

I collected some oak galls from my local park with my boys in Autumn last year because someone told me it was easy enough to make gall ink, which is a permanent ink that darkens over time. 

Oak galls a made by wasps in acorns and are also used by some moths after the wasps are finished with them!

Apparently oak gall ink was used by Leonardo da Vinci! We didn’t follow an exact recipe, but kind of made it up as we went along…but here are some pictures of the process which I hope will give you an idea of what to do if you decide to make some yourself!

1 large bowl of dried oak galls – finely ground (we used a coffee grinder)

Mixed with water and left for a week

1 bowl with rusty things in it – soaked in clear vinegar for a week

Use a cloth to strain the water and vinegar together

Mix with a few teaspoons of gum arabic powder.

then you’re done!

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Lockdown Location

We’ve all been stuck at home during quaratine, and through this time, Jenny’s been experimenting with disused garden solar lights that have been donated to us as part of a recent project to make a door sign for Plymouth Scrapstore.

Here is her latest piece Lockdown Location. We’re planning to run workshops when we can all get back together teaching people how to make these fabulous and unusual solar artworks.

Thank you in particular to Kaleider for all their support throughout this tricky period. 

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Moths to a Flame at Plymouth Art Weekender

We’re really delighted to have been given some seed funding from the Plymouth Art Weekender’s crowdfunding event during ‘LockDown’ to help us deliver some Moths to a Flame activities in Plymouth .

This means that we’ll be holding an exhibition in Plymouth during the Art Weekender in Sept 2020 and also delivering 500 free mega moth kits to people in the city.

If you want to know more about this as it happens, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and instagram!

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solar door number 1 – Turns light into electricity

What happens when you combine things that appear to be quite different?

This is what students of combined honors subjects at the University of Exeter have to do every day!

How do you balance competing demands? How do you make sense of things that could appear at first to be opposites? How do you manage your energy and stay creative?

These are questions that we considered when developing this new artwork with staff and students at the University of Exeter.

As we’ve seen through ‘Lock Down’, The future may not look anything like the past – The way we think and feel will change and we have a chance now to build a more beautiful future.

Here is a short film about this new artwork made for The Art and Energy Collective by Lauren Sawyer.