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Girl power

To be fair, no-one ever told me I couldn’t make solar panel artworks.

There were plenty who were skeptical, but, the majority of my experience to date has been of exceptional, unexpected, generous and enthusiastic support from people who want us to succeed in our venture. 

But you know, I’ve been in a few technology and engineering colleges….and there aren’t very many women there.

It made me think…..Women are invited….in fact, we are encouraged and needed, to participate in every aspect of humanity’s response to the climate emergency and studies show that diversity in the work environment can increase innovation.


When I look back, I wonder – Why didn’t I go into STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Maths ) straight away?

I remember 100% test results in my electronics class; all those satisfying maths problems; beautiful graphs and diagrams; playable data; intriguing science experiments; mind-blowing discussions about the nature of the universe…. I really loved STEM stuff. So why did I decide to do something else?

Maybe because I was also good at other stuff that I got more praise for: Like singing, dancing, acting, drawing.

Maybe it was something to do with freedom: I remember thinking at 16 – If I study art, I can explore science in my work, but if I study science, it will be harder to explore art.


When we first made a solar panel artwork at the kitchen table, I realised that playing with energy is MUCH more fun and creative than I had realised before… and also MUCH easier.

That’s not to say that it is without any risks…you have to be careful with the kit!….and nothing ALWAYS works…but, that’s part of the fun. Working with solar cells requires careful attention, and if you give it that, then you can make your own electricity and use it to power something in your life.


Over the weekend, we ran a solar charger making workshop with a brilliant group of girls between the ages of 9 and 11 and their grown-ups.

Thank you to Exeter Community Energy for supplying the kit to run the workshop!

What was so noticeable for me was how skillful, focused and thoughtful this young group were.

It was really heartening to see parents supporting their girls to experience things they wouldn’t necessarily get to do at school: Soldering, using sharp tools, and power tools.

Each of them came away having learned a bit more about solar power, they achieved something tricky, found solutions to problems, and developed skills for resilience.

Their solar panel chargers will be something that they can use, share and tell a good story about.

I hope we’ve helped these young women to see themselves getting creative with STEM for the future.

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Art and Energy in creative exchange with ESI

Over the last year, Art and Energy have collaborated with Katie Shanks at the ESI in Penryn to develop and test our solar artworks. 

We plan to celebrate our first year working with the University through an exhibition in August and September at the Creative Hub in the ESI and we look forward to developing our work further over the coming 12 months as we have been invited to join the University’s fabulous creative exchange programme.

Creative Exchange Programme

 The ESI is leading interdisciplinary research into solutions for problems of environmental change.  Research carried out in the ESI aims to enhance people’s lives by improving their relationship with the environment.  The ESI Creative Exchange programme facilitates collaboration between ESI researchers, community partners and creative practitioners who engage with issues of environment and sustainability in their work. The programme also aims to support Cornwall’s creative industries and stimulate opportunities for public engagement with ESI researchers.

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Solar delights at RAMM Lates!

Chloe will be talking about Art and Energy at RAMM Lates in May!

Get your ticket soon as they book up really fast! 

Fri 10 May

Delight in an after-hours night of exploration and entertainment at RAMM Lates.

RAMM Pub Quiz – Exploring the senses 
Join quizmaster extraordinaire Cathy Peace and take part in our first ever interactive pub quiz. Test your knowledge whilst using your senses. Touch, smell, see, hear and taste your way along a sensory journey; identifying objects, investigating smells and naming tunes. Take part with friends or join in with brainy looking strangers. Spaces on the night will be allocated on a first come basis.

Life Model Drawing Lessons 
Come and join a relaxed drawing class whatever your drawing ability, Dan Whiteson will guide you through a fascinating workshop where you’ll be able to explore your mind’s eye through a dynamic series of exercises which will help you to draw from a life model. 

Dan Whiteson is a professional artist and drawing teacher and hosts classes across London and the UK. Working with venues such as The Wallace Collection, The Courtauld Institute, Sotheby’s & Village Underground, he has crafted his own unique approach to teaching drawing. Using an informal, relaxed approach Dan will deliver a fun and relaxing life drawing class.

Pre-Booking essential. You can only book onto one of these workshops if you have a ticket to Lates. You will not be permitted access if you don’t. Book now. 

Walk and Talk of Extreme Imagination: inside the mind’s eye
When you daydream, remember, or think of someone you know, do you see a picture in your mind? Is it extremely clear and vivid? Or foggy? If you had no image at all in your mind’s eye, would this affect your work if you were an artist? Join one of the Curators behind this exhibition as they walk you through some of the works of the 22 artists featured and talk to you about the project behind this exhibition. 

Delve further into the collection – Local Archaeology
Join Assistant Curator Tom Cadbury and Finds Liaison Officer Lucy Shipley to learn about some of the most exciting and important archaeological finds we have here in the museum. What should you do if you find something when out on a walk or digging the garden? How do you learn more about your find and get it added to Devon’s archaeological record?

Folk Band – Spin 2
Spin 2 perform beautiful songs and brilliant instrumentals written with flavours of folk, bossa, eastern, jazz. They are fronted by exciting fiddle player Ali Jones (ex Barely works) and Chris Rudd on bouzouki, guitar and voice with Jamie Jones Rudd (The Rushes) on mandolin, guitar and voice and a dynamic rhythm section of Gemma Allen on drums and Damien Scarr on double bass. You will hear a fantastic combination of instrumental virtuosity and soulful melodies from this talented and well-travelled band.

DJ John
Dr John’s experimental African Disco: the sound of diaspora.

Robin Fox – Magician
Be amazed by Magician Robin Fox. For Robin, magic is a way of life, an art and a philosophy. Robin lives in Devon, and as well as magic he is fascinated by the history of the Middle Ages and the Victorian era.

Clive Pig – Storyteller and Singer
Clive PiG is a globetrotting storyteller, poet and potato juggler. This travelling talesman has shared stories in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, sung songs on TV in New York City and spouted poetry at Number 10 Downing Street. Following recent storytelling shenanigans in Argentina, Oman & Uganda Clive is delighted to tell tales as part of RAMM Lates. Clive will tell three tales collected on recent globetrotting shenanigans.

• La Guitara. A tragic tale of love and loss from Argentina sung to the accompaniment of Clive’s painted guitar. 
• Father of Seven Sons, Mother of Seven Daughters. 
A soulful bedouin tale from the deserts of Arabia heard on a recent trip to Oman
• A Man of Iron.
A rhythmical Ugandan story about a wily blacksmith who saves his life by using his wits to trick the king.

University of Exeter – “What would it be like to stand on the surface of another planet?” – Virtual Reality Tour of planets outside our solar system
To celebrate the UNESCO International Day of Light 2019, researchers from the University of Exeter will be providing hands-on demonstrations of how light affects our daily lives. From explaining the colours we see in the sky, to writing with light, and seeing how nature manipulates light to produce colour, there will be plenty to see, interact with, and learn. Modern display technologies also harness light to allow us to answer questions like “What would it be like to stand on the surface of another planet?” Researchers have teamed up with a group of astrophysicists to create a scientifically accurate, virtual reality tour of six planets discovered outside our solar system. So strap on a VR headset, surf the giant waves of Kepler-62e, and gaze across the lava fields of 55 Cancri e.

Solar Panel Artist – Chloe Uden Art and Energy
Girl power and the art that can charge your mobile phone. Chloe Uden from Art and Energy is re-imagining solar photovoltaics as a material for making art so that people can have beautiful solar panels for special places. Most people think that energy is boring and solar panels are ugly but at RAMM Lates, you will be able to see some of the first examples of solar panel artwork that might change your mind about how the future could look. In this 10 minute chat, Chloe will tell you how she and some of her girlfriends made these early pieces at her kitchen table and how somehow, they can generate more power than a standard solar panel.

‘Are You Comfortable?’ – Sound piece: Katherine Stevens
Listen to this spoken-word interactive audio experience which asks audiences to interrogate the ways in which they self-identify. What makes you ‘YOU’? Is it how you stand? How you talk? Is it the clothes you wear? The way you think? Do other people know who you are? Who you really are? Guided by poetry and movement, ’Are You Comfortable?’ makes us look at ourselves differently. Through a series of meditations, exercises and cues, you can engage personally with the comfort and discomfort of yourself and those around you.

Taste bud explosion with Chococo
Explore flavour combinations of chocolate and see which makes your taste buds tingle.

Mosaic Mania
Create your own piece of mosaic art. Draw inspiration from our exhibition of Elaine M Goodwin’s art, or get messy and create a Roman-inspired ‘un-swept floor.’

Looking the Part 
A chance for you to access our costume collection and take some photos of your friends. 

Roman Handling Collection
Explore the archaeology of Roman Devon.

Games in the Shop
Try your hand at visual, memory and mosaic games in the RAMM Shop.

There will be a bar on the evening for you to purchase drinks from. If you return with your glass and re-use it on the night you will receive 10% off your next drink.

The RAMM Café will be serving food for you to enjoy. On the menu will be Mac n cheese, hot dogs, paninis and soup. Both vegetarian and vegan options of the dishes will be available. .

Over 18s only.

RAMM Lates are supported by the RAMM Development Trust

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We are unstoppable! We are UnLtd

Setting up a social enterprise isn’t without it’s challenges! But it’s also very exciting and rewarding. Some of the rewarding moments come when someone else validates your ideas and decides to get on board with the journey.

So, we are feeling really excited today as we’ve just found our that UnLtd have decided to support our work with some mentoring, training and funds to help us develop our work further.

UnLtd is a charity which supports social entrepreneurs – people with vision, drive, commitment and passion who want to change the world for the better. Their mission is to reach out and unleash the energies of people who can transform the world in which they live. 

Check out their website! 


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Artworks charging phones at TedX Exeter 2019 – The Art of the Possible

Art and Energy will be providing phone charging points at TedX Exeter tomorrow!

In the exhibition hall, visitors will have the chance to stop and recharge with a cuppa a snack and works of art that charge their phones!

This year our speakers will explore issues from the potential of AI to solve global challenges to human rights, ocean optimism and social mobility, under the overarching theme The Art of the Possible

Tickets are sold out but anyone who missed out will be able to watch the day online or at FREE drop in livestream events .

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Engineers without borders at UoE in Penryn make solar panels!

10 students from Engineers without Borders at the University of Exeter in Penryn made 6 solar panels in a lovely workshop at the weekend.

Our workshop was Art and Energy’s take on Demand Energy Equality’s solar charger making workshop which is available through their website.

The workshop was made possible by Exeter Community Energy.

The step by step walk-though of how to make a solar panel was great!  Participant

“Very patient and enthusiastic” Participant

Absolutely outstanding workshop in every way!….I learnt loads!…And proof that you can teach and old dog new tricks! Adam, Lecturer at UoE

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At first light

At first light

In the indigo

we leave together

to a duel at first light


the day breaks and

we part, you become

my opposite


each step

I take away from you

I am divided


and our heavy strides


the earth


beneath us

feet drawing

lines of power


a mist rises

we choke on memories

of ancient sunlight


liberated, the artist

at the edge of the field

observes and makes a sign


then suddenly a skylark

and we feel

unknowable forces



the balance

towards obliteration


this is the moment

to turn and take aim

and our eyes lift


with the heart

ascending on wings and a song

we could still…

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Solar Artworks Unveiled

We unveiled our first solar panel artworks at MikroFest at Kaleider on the 15th of March.

Here is a piece by Emma Ruminski for the BBC that tells you a little bit more about them.

We are looking for places to show off these works, so if you know somewhere that we should show our works, please get in touch.

“Fantastic work! So exciting to see you bringing energy to life. I feel so inspired and can’t wait to see how this evolves!Fleur Disney, Community Energy London

“I love the way you’ve take the inner beauty of the crystals in the panels and made them the centre of the artTrevor Sharp

“This is wonderful and inspiring work – I would love to see it ‘scaled-up’ perhaps a cathedral or an enormous building…” Matt Harvey, Poet

“Stunning. Great work” Dom Jinks, Exeter Culture

“Lots of Potential in this idea!” Andy Slaney, SGS Berkeley

“Sensational exhibition for hope and beauty” Randall Wright



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Kids solar panel profiled on Blue Peter’s post of the week!


Blue Peter like the solar panel that Reuben, Poppy, Izzy, Tomas, Hector and Felix made for them so much that they’ve posted a lovely piece about it on their blog!

Look here! 

The kids have been using their panels to charge their devices at home, and are planning to take their badges to praise assembly at school soon.

Thank you again to Ian Hankey and Jenny Ayrton and Ian Hankey for helping us run the workshop and thank you again to Will Dolphin for capturing the moment in lovely pix of the workshops.