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Art and Energy awarded RSA Catalyst funding

The RSA has been at the forefront of social change for over 260 years, so it is a huge honour and also ridiculously exciting to have been awarded a seed grant from the Catalyst programme.

Over this Autumn, this support from The RSA’s Catalyst fund will help us to work with Ian Hankey from Plymouth’s Fab Lab and Katie Shanks from the Renewable Energy Department at the University of Exeter to test a variety of etching processes that will hopefully lead to the production of the first small solar panel artworks made in the UK.

“The panel felt that this was an interesting project with an innovative approach to design, and it aligned with the RSA and its commitment to design. The panel were excited to invest in this stage of research to catalyse this idea to the next level.” Review Panel

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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

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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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Pretty Useful – Getting creative with solar

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

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

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

Book Here

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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Dan Arnold imagines a butterfly car port

Hiya Dan!

Welcome to the Art and Energy team, can you tell us about you and your work?

Hello! Thank you very much, what an amazing thing to be part of!

I’m an artist and collaborator currently based in Penryn, Cornwall. My practice and research has taken me all over the world and I continue to seek inspiration from the natural processes that surround us and the collaborations that occur within the interconnected web.

My practice lies at the ever changing membrane between art and science and the processes that we find ourselves part of.

I make large scale sculptures and installations, films, animations and murals increasingly through a process of collaboration.

I’ve worked with NGOs, charities, Arts Council England, Glastonbury, schools, universities, planetariums and museums around the world.

thiscountryside.co.uk 

So, you’ve spent the last week with us speaking to people in Exeter about Art and Energy and developing ideas for projects that people in Exeter are interested in.

You were focusing on developing an idea for a solar carport. Can you tell us about it?

Sweet, yeah!

It’s been great talking to people in Exeter over that week. It’s super important that any project involves the local community otherwise there’s a high risk of alienating people or producing something that has no relevance to them.

 

That’s not what art is for, its another language and potentially powerful tool for change, that should be used to communicate and bring ideas together rather than sit on an overly intellectualised pedestal and only let the elite in.

Yeah, so solar car ports. Rad.

For me it’s important that large pieces of artwork also have a functionality about them – that they’re layered rather than just pretty (or ugly).

 

We’ve talked about the cabbage white butterfly and its super rad wings.

This led to the idea of using the butterfly’s chrysalis as a starting point for a from for the carport.

A chrysalis is a transitional object by nature and I like that; designing a functioning sculpture that converts energy and provides a space for ideas to grow (as well as other species).

 

A carport also needs to function when it is not charging a car, it’s a waste of resources for anything not to be used as much as possible.

It could also provide a meeting point for people, somewhere to interact and also charge phones etc, a space for ideas.

Part of the roof and the underside of the structure could also provide habitats for a struggling insect population and parts of the roof could be living.

The whole space an ecosystem and habitat for several species including ourselves as well as functioning as a source of power for the objects we use.

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Open doors at 6 Paris Street, Exeter

We’d like to invite you to help us launch our new venture: Art and Energy.

Art and Energy are reinventing solar photovoltaics as an art material for the future.

At the moment solar panels are making our world look like something out of minecraft. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

 Art and Energy are working with a team of partners and experts to create custom solar panels that can incorporate art.

We’re holding a week long event at 6 Paris Street in Princesshay, Exeter on 14 – 19 May

We hope you’ll come along to:

  • See what can be done!
  • Get creative with some materials
  • Help us decide what sort of art and energy project to develop in Exeter
  • Get free energy advice from Exeter Community Energy

 

We will be open:

Monday 14th May  – Saturday 19th May

10am – 3pm each day

Just pop in or come to a special activity

10:30 – 12:00 – Energy Walk around the city every day

12:00 – 2:00 – Free energy advice from Exeter Community Energy