I was recently really honored to be part of an unique workshop, one that bought artists and techi's together to problem solve. Re-imagining Castlemaine was an exploration of public art, architecture, renewable energy technology via a cross-disciplinary design workshop.
The 3 day workshop provided a great professional development opportunity for me and 12 other artists interested in employing energy technologies as the material for their work, to create a pathway for innovation and experimentation in the delivery of public art.
It's part of a bigger initiative lead by the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) which hosts competitions that aim to imagine public art installations that double as renewable energy generators, powering local neighborhoods.
This exciting approach invites all of us and particularly participants to imagine a future where public art, design and energy all intersect to enable sustainable and beautiful infrastructures. LAGI recognises the powerful role that creativity and inter-disciplines, play in innovation, and use public art as a vehicle to explore this.
Back to Castlemaine and our challenge was to re-imagine a car park and create ideas that could integrate renewable energy, creative placemaking and community-oriented design. Over the 3 days we explored in groups, individually and in collaborations a number of ideas then presented to the community for consideration and discussion. While the next stage is not funded it is an example of what can happen when we consider the possibility of art and and sustainable energy.
Working with artist Alex Sanson, the Hanging Gardens Of Castlemaine, a clever elegant structure was created. With arced semi transparent cladding providing shade for cars and community events, power generation through PV technology allowing light transmission for healthy plant growth and soft lighting from solar lace lamps that hang throughout the structure for pedestrian safety and to enhance the beauty of the space.