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What is Art and Energy? Come and find out at ESI Penryn

Artist Talk
There will also be a talk in the ESI Trevithick room on Friday 27th September from 4-5pm followed by a drinks reception 5-7pm.  This will be a great opportunity to meet artists Chloe Uden and Naomi Wright and finds out more about their working process and how they help people connect with energy through creativity.  During the talk, Art and Energy will share some of their learning and give a demonstration of the construction techniques. 

Places for the talk are limited so please ensure you book early:

Exhibition 5th September – 11th October 2019

Art and Energy artists Chloe Uden and Naomi Wright have been collaborating with post-doc researcher Katie Shanks over the past year to challenge the aesthetics of silicon solar PV in order to re-imagine solar panels as places for artworks of the future.  Art and Energy will celebrate the first year of this collaboration by exhibiting a number of Solar Panel Art works in the ESI Creative Exchange Space from September to October 2019.  The ESI Creative Exchange is open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm.

Research and collaboration
Naomi and Chloe would love to hear from anyone with ideas for further exploration such as:

– Creative participation and co-design, installations, conversations about nature and light (e.g. moths)
– The tiny scale world with big impacts such as about energy, photosynthesis and in nature.
– The duality in the solar artworks – absorbing energy to power something, a process, or translation, the technology.

If you would like to get in touch please contact them via email at and


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EcoFest Tavistock – We made a solar panel artwork in a day!

Following popular demand, we’ve been exploring ways that we can make solar panel artwork making accessible by lots of people in one day.

We tried out our approach to involving large (ish) numbers of participants over the course of the wonderful EcoFest in Tavistock, and throughout the day, around 75 people aged between 4 and 70 helped us in a variety of ways to make a solar panel artwork live!

The resulting artwork ‘Eyes to the Future’ is able to  charge mobile phones and we’ll be looking for an appropriate home for it later this autumn.

Participants were able to paint, glue, cut, choose, solder, tab up solar cells, build the electrical circuit and then connect everything together.

We would LOVE to do this sort of participatory demonstration again at festivals or events, so if you can think of somewhere appropriate for this sort of activity, please let us know.

Thank you to everyone who got involved, and thanks particularly to Ursula and Trudy for organising such a brilliant event!

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Solar charger making workshops in Totnes this September

Totnes Renewable Energy Society (TRESOC)’s  aim is to empower the local community to develop and control its own renewable energy supplies and to ensure that the maximum value resulting from the development of local resources is retained by the community.

So it’s really exciting that they’ve invited Art and Energy to run two solar charger making workshops for TRESOC members and the wider Totnes community this September.

September 16th – Solar Charger Making Workshop – TRESOC members and friends

September 28th – Solar Charger Making Workshop – TRESOC members and friends


During these 2 x day long workshop which will take place at The Pulse in The Mansion in Totnes, you will get hands on with solar power.

  • learn how solar panels work,
  • explore what goes into making one,
  • handle the tools and components involved
  • test your device

At the end of the day you will be able to take home your own solar panel to charge your devices.

All materials are included and no experience is necessary.

Sensible 10+ year olds are welcome if they are accompanied and supported by an adult.

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ECOE supports Art and Energy’s programme of workshops

Last night Exeter Community Energy held a community benefit fund allocation event.

We pitched our idea of buying kit so that we can run workshops for people who want to learn how to make their own solar panel artworks. We then took part in a participatory decision making process.

It was really exciting to be involved in such a unique and engaging decision making process, and we are so happy that the group decided to award Art and Energy the funds to do this work

Over the next few weeks we plan to get the kit we need to run the workshops and then to start programming in the workshops for the latter part of 2019.

So, if you think you might like to support, host or attend one of these workshops, please get in touch and/or keep an eye out on our website over the next few weeks.

Here is a link to a page on ECOE’s website where you can find out more about the other applicants and winners


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Help us win support from ECOE to run more solar panel making workshops!

Early in January Art and Energy applied to Exeter Community Energy’s community fund for money to pay for the tools and equipment we need to run solar panel making workshops for people in and around the city who want to 

  • learn new skills, 
  • have fun and 
  • have a creative hand in responding to the climate emergency through generating electricity from the sun.
We’re hoping to work with at least 100 people over the next year.

We are delighted to have been shortlisted and invited to participate in a pitching event to win your hearts and votes and hopefully the support from ECOE.

Please put this date in your diary and come along and lend us your ears!

30th January – 6:30 – 8:30pm at Stephens Scown offices in Exeter

There will be a number of other fabulous energy projects in the city that you might also be interested in!


“Recently, we have been doing a project [with art and energy] on making solar panels to help save the world. We have been making our own so we can charge our electronics at home. I am passionate about our planet…We hope you like it.” Izzy age 11

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Blue Peter kids solar art project starts!

Our solar panel artworks project with children in Heavitree has started and it’s amazing what you can make at your kitchen table!
The children are planning to take their solar panels home to charge their devices and are hoping to earn their green Blue Peter badge through the project.
Most people think of solar panels as inky blue rectangles on roof tops or fields and aren’t aware that you can actually make quite beautiful things using solar technology to generate your power!
The great thing is that solar PV isn’t as hard to work with as people might think as these brilliant young people are showing.
I’m so happy to find that some of the young people in my community want to be pioneers in this new art-form!Chloe Uden
Throughout November, the children will be meeting once a week to etch, solder, paint, glue and put together their solar panels so they can join our green energy revolution and respond in a small way to the climate emergency.
Photo Credit: Will Dolphin
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Pretty Useful – Getting Creative with Solar in Plymouth – Again!

You know what solar panels look like right…. Well think again!
The inky rectangle we are all used to is about to change.
And it’s going to be changing in Plymouth.

  • Did you know that solar PV could be colourful?
  • Did you know that you can make curves and shapes?
  • Did you know the tech is fairly easy to work with?

Solar PV could be a new craft material of the future and this could give us an energy generation that doesn’t look like something out of Minecraft, but actually reflects local cultural identity.

This interactive, practical session will:

  • Tell you a bit about the options for aesthetic versatility in solar PV
  • Outline the experiments we’ll be doing with the Fab Lab in Plymouth
  • Show you examples of art and energy projects from around the world
  • Ask you to help us imagine an Art and Energy installation for Plymouth

Refreshments will be provided.

This event is free but numbers are limited and booking is essential.

This workshop will be held from 6-8pm on Tuesday 9th October at The Fab Lab in Plymouth College of Art. 


Booking is essential and the last session was booked up very quickly.

Are you interested in social or environmental justice and improving the quality of life of residents in Plymouth?

Do you want to improve your skills or help grow confidence in energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions?

Plymouth Energy Community would like your help to make a difference.. In the last 5 years, PEC’s services to tackle energy issues and cold homes have grown significantly. They’ve helped over 12,000 households and have installed 33 community-owned solar arrays. But they want to do so much more.

Here’s more information about Plymouth Energy Community PEC Pals

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PEC Pals at Pretty Useful workshop in August 2018

“Art and Energy’s approach to engaging people in the future of energy is fresh and interactive. The solar workshop allowed us to get our hands on materials and be creative, making new technology less intimidating.

There was definitely excitement in the room and the ideas and collaborations look set to continue long after the event, which is vital for Plymouth Energy Community and the residents who support our work.”  

Clare Mains, Plymouth Energy Community

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Art and Energy at University of Exeter’s Fourth Energy and Society Conference: Energy transitions in a divided world

Art and Energy will be running two workshop sessions at The fourth Energy and Society Conference which will take place in Exeter, UK, from 3 to 5 September 2018.  

We will be talking about the aesthetic potential for solar PV and what that might mean for communities approaches to new energy installations.

The conference aims to bring together researchers interested in the social dimensions of energy, to exchange insightful ideas and create opportunities for collaboration. They invite contributions from sociology, other social sciences and interdisciplinary networks.

This time the conference theme is Energy transitions in a divided world.  The theme reflects recent developments around the world that have been linked to a decline in social and spatial cohesion and cooperation: the onward march of individualism, privatisation and deregulation associated with neoliberal principles, and the rise of nationalism within and beyond Europe. The Brexit vote in the UK and the Trump presidency in the US are just two manifestations of these processes. But what are the impacts of these wider social transformations for future energy systems?

For more information and booking details – Click here