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Solar-Powered Art Exhibition Lights up the Australian Outback Night!

Thought to be the first of its kind, an exhibition of about 20 solar-powered artworks created by international artists debuted last month in Broken Hill, a historic mining city situated in the Australian outback. As per the Broken Hill Art Exchange, the group responsible for curating this exciting project, each piece was designed to be viewed at night and is meant to “utilize and expose solar technology” and thereby to “awaken public interest” in solar power.

Effectively turning the entire city of Broken Hill into a giant, outdoor art gallery, the installations have been arranged so that viewers are given a map to be used to explore the city and its natural surroundings in order seek out all of the artwork—sort of an art- and solar-powered treasure hunt. Additionally, in developing each of their pieces, each artist also worked closely with a local business or organization in Broken Hill, making the greater community not just the location, but an intrinsic part of the process of creating the art. Lighting up the desert skyline with the power of its daytime sunlight, some of the pieces also incorporated audio, video and/or performance aspects.

Notable inclusions? A series of light boxes set up in a grove of trees to make it appear from a distance that there is a house there, emitting light from its “windows.” A starry patch of “sky” showing the stars as seen this month… over Canada. A patch of primordial “ooze” meant to represent the origins of life on earth. And a pack of luminescent dingoes made of empty milk cartons!

As the Art Exchange’s website puts it, “Practicality and poetry… converge to highlight one another… Solar power in this context will offer the artists autonomy for their installations, freeing them from the national grid.” What a creative and innovative way to highlight the benefits of solar power!

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