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Scrapstore solar signs

Art and energy are working on a new solar sign for Plymouth Scrapstore

We all enjoyed the first of  three workshops in Plymouth Play Scrapstore to develop a  Moths to a Flame solar sign that lights up in the evening.

Here are Jenny and Rob outside Plymouth Scrapstore and the kit they are using to test out our scrap solar cells.  Are the cells energetic enough to light little LEDs for our new signs?

Like Moths to a Flame we want to play in Plymouth Scrapstore

Our visitors made some glowing moths to add to the development of an installation of thousands going to the big Climate Change conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in November with Plymouth Energy Community (PEC).

And, like this one, some paper moths found themselves stuck to the window, waiting for the new sign.  

While developing ideas we watch and learn from those making the moths – so many colours and imaginative patterns.  Nearly as many as the real moths themselves at our windows at home.

Plymouth Play Scrapstore has welcomed us and is helping us bring something new, magical  and colourful to the area.

 

We collaged ideas for a design for the solar panel sign......

.....And we had loads of creative conversations - there is a lot of love at Scrapstore

Here are Felicity and Kate having a creative chat about ideas for projects.

Rowena said that her piece reflected the rainbow raindrops in the window and Plymouth specific nature like seagulls.  Plus  ‘the hearts in the picture are because there is a lot of love in Scrapstore.’

Naomi also recorded visitors comments about future wishes for the environment and society with the Speakpipe app. on our front page. She said that ‘Anyone can have a go and leave us a message for the planet – we would love to hear it.’

The final sign will be made out of some of Scrapstore’s reusable materials, solar cell spare pieces and recycled wires, with as little new equipment as possible.

We are looking forward to the next two workshops when we all make the sign.  There will be painting, collaging, soldering, wiring up, cups of tea and excitement.

Nudge of Union street, and Plymouth Energy Community have helped fund this project.

 

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Moths to a Flame at Illuminate in Plymouth

Solar powered moth trap - Moths to a Flame

Art and Energy want to make a new artwork for COP 26

At the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, in  2015, for the first time in human history, all nations were united in the common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. 

COP 26 will be held in Glasgow in November 2020, and the Art and Energy Collective and Plymouth Energy Community want to create an artwork that speaks of our relationship with energy, the destructive nature of our old systems and that gathers our voices together to press for system change.

We want to send a message to leaders that we are willing to participate, aware of the consequences of inaction and understand the importance of the individual in making positive change.

Plans for a solar powered art installation made by hundreds of people in the South West of England

In our first steps to develop this new artwork, we developed an installation with Plymouth Energy Community Volunteers for the Illuminate Festival in Plymouth (26 Nov – 2 Dec 2019).

Participants helped us to make 160  Moths  which were suspended around a solar powered moth trap. The moths’ wings decorated in UV paint revealed colours that were only visible under black light. 

Over the next year, we would like to develop a much larger installation bringing together the voices of people from the South West and asking our policy makers for system change around energy, to save us, our natural world and the planet from our dependence on the energy systems of old.

Please get in touch with our team if you can help us realise this ambitious piece.

Moths to a Flame - Participants making glow in the dark moths
Feedback for Moths to a Flame at Illuminate in Plymouth 2019
Feedback for Moths to a Flame at Illuminate in Plymouth 2019

This project has been generously supported by Plymouth Energy Community, PEC Pals and our wonderful friends from LaserCutz

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People with Power – Making solar panel artworks in Plymouth

Illuminate – People with Power An exploration of our relationship with energy, and its effect on the world around us.

We are in a Climate Emergency and it is essential that we re-connect with energy, its use and effect on the environment.

Creative energy! 

PEC and Art and Energy CIC help residents explore renewable technologies creatively.  The aim is to demystify the technology and empower creative participation in its use.

In a workshop at Ocean Studios prompted by PEC Pal Ian and organised by PEC and Art and Energy; we created solar artworks that charge devices and we are currently working on our first community installations. 

You can get involved with art and energy projects through the PEC Pals art group – please contact energyteam@plymouthenergycommunity.com

Details of future Solar Panel Artwork making workshops can be seen here

 

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Big Bang Artworks finally on display in Plymouth!

The journey of making our co-created ‘Big Bang’ solar panel artworks has been rather long and has included quite a collection of people!

We were invited to bring an activity to The Big Bang Fair by Exeter Science Park who were sponsors of the huge and bustling event at WestPoint Arena in June 2019, and over 170 young people joined us to learn how to solder tabbing wire to solar cells and add their designs of objects and items that they associate with the sun.

By the end of the day we had 7 pieces to finish.

This involved spending time at Ocean Studios in Plymouth in July 2019 to decide how to finish the artworks and to sandblast the surface of the glass; adding silver elements in a workshop in Exeter in August; and working with Torbay Climate Action Group at the EyeView shop in Paignton to paint the glass and connect the cells in September (Even local Lib Dem councillor Lee Howgate came and joined in!).

After some final testing at touching up at Kaleider, (and with support from RIO and Plymouth Energy Community) we will now be showing the finished pieces in the Ocean Studios Gallery from 27 November – 1 Dec during the Illuminate Festival.

Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) have a group of PEC Pals have been working with us for over a year now to find ways to bring people together to explore our energy systems through creativity and the group have also made their own solar panel artworks that will be on display at the same time.

The Illuminate Festival Looks like it’s going to be really good, so we hope we’ll get to see you at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard, Plymouth at some point.quite a 

 

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Art and Energy at Plymouth Energy Community’s AGM – 20th Nov

We have been really enjoying working with Plymouth Energy Community over the past year, running workshops, making artworks and creating plans for the future. So we are so happy to have been asked to talk about where creativity meets our energy revolution at their AGM.

  • 6:30 – 8:30
  • 20th Nov
  • Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth

Addressing the climate emergency and transitioning to a zero carbon energy system requires creative, novel solutions. Art and Energy CIC work to inspire and raise hopes through projects that make energy and imagine a better future. Be inspired as artists Chloe Uden and Naomi Wright give you an insight into the power of creativity, show examples of what’s possible and help you unleash your inner artist.

Combined with an update on PEC’s innovative and dynamic work to fight fuel poverty and carbon emissions, this is guaranteed to be a fantastic evening!

Book here

 

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Solar artwork making – Plymouth

Join solar panel artists Chloe Uden and Naomi Wright and make your own solar panel artwork that can power your devices.

During this day long enjoyable workshop you will:

  • learn about solar energy
  • design and create your own solar panel design
  • tab up solar cells
  • connect the electrical component
  • test your pieces
  • and then get charging your phone!

No previous knowledge or skills required.

9:30 – 4:30 Friday 11th October – Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth

BOOK HERE!

£75 for the day (Reduced from £120) – This workshop is subsidised by Plymouth Energy Community (PEC).

PEC is a charity that aims to create a clean, fair affordable energy system with people at its heart.

Over the last year, we’ve been working together to offer people the chance to get hands-on with new renewable energy materials.

This subsidised session is for anyone who wants to know more about advances in solar and would like to learn new skills to create a piece of solar art for their home.

*The workshop forms part of Illuminate, Plymouth’s festival of light, during which PEC will host a solar art installation. If you would like your piece to appear, please let us know during the day.

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Dartington School of Social Entrepreneurs – Graduation day

Art and Energy is a collective of people that want to use their skills to respond to the climate emergency through art and craft. We want to open doors of hope and imagination.  

Through our work, we’ve re-imagined solar PV as an art material, we’ve made beautiful solar panel artworks for special places, and we’ve taught people new skills to help them connect with energy through craft.

Art and Energy CIC is what happens when artists decide to join the energy debate.

In our journey to make our work ‘work’, Chloe has been exploring a whole host of organisations that support the growth of social entrepreneurs.  One of which is Dartington School of Social Entrepreneurs.

DSSE has a range of programmes that help you take your idea and take the next steps in turning it into a reality.

“going along this journey with other people who are experiencing similar challenges in bringing their visions for a better future into reality is motivating, comforting and helpful. I want everyone to have the chance to live their dream…” Chloe Uden

Over the course of the year, we explored, business models, financial planning and management, legal and organisational structures, time management, action learning, stakeholder analysis, social impact strategies and a whole host of other stuff.

Each business is so different and all of them have been inspiring to see how they’ve evolved over the last 12 months.

With help from 1 to 1 coaching, as well as a mentor from Lloyds, it has been possible to evolve our plans quite fast.

 

Are you a creative thinking about how your work can have greater social or environmental impact?

Do you have an idea for a business that will make a difference, but don’t know where to start?

If so, then maybe you should come along to the Dartington SSE Graduation at Devonport Guildhall on Thursday the 17th October, where you’ll see 20 new start-ups from across the South West outlining how they took the plunge, and showing off their new services and products.

Chloe will be there with some of Art and Energy’s solar panel artworks.

“I really want to talk to people about their ideas for putting art and craft at the heart of how we create a better society and systems for our well-being and the health of the planet.” Chloe Uden

If you would like a free ticket to this event – Please contact Chloe

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Demo session – Ocean Studios Making Table – Friday 12th July

The Big Bang Fair at Westpoint Arena near Exeter was fairly mind-blowing! Around 6000 children from across the South West visited the event, and about 175 people participated in helping us make solar panel artworks.

Some of the Art and Energy team, Chloe, Naomi and Jenny will be working on the next stage of making these pieces (etching, engraving and painting) in a public demonstration at Plymouth Ocean Studios’ Making Table on Friday the 12th of July from 10am – 3pm.

 

We would love to see you there if you’re able to make it! 

We are very grateful to Exeter Science Park for the opportunity to showcase our work at the Big Bang Fair, and also to meet so many inspiring and enthusiastic people and we look forward to displaying the finished artworks later on in the year.

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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! www.unltd.org.uk 

 

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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. 

BOOK HERE

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