It’s been a busy week, with last Friday seeing the conclusion, for the present, of the Harnessing Creativity exhibition “Expanded Territories” at the Dock in Carrick on Shannon.
This was the culmination of a series of “Creative Labs” which began last May with the aim of assisting thirty creative practitioners in Leitrim/Fermanagh/Tyrone to develop new products or concepts in conjunction with relevant business partners.
As the earlier labs focussed on local resources and local and international trending, I decided to work with the question of renewable energy technologies, a social sculpture approach informed by my recent Art in Public studies at the University of Ulster. As I explained at my stand in the exhibition:
“My concept is called “Local-E” and aims to promote energy awareness through giving ownership of and responsibility for their own energy generation to local individuals, companies and communities. I’ve been thinking about this since the possibility of Hydraulic Fracturing brought the sharp edge of the energy debate to the North West, and the Harnessing Creativity programme is a good platform to take the idea a step further.
I am inspired by the knowledge that in the 1905 there was a small hydroelectric station close to where I now live in Manorhamilton.
I believe it will give a positive focus to the energy discussion as well as taking practical steps to answer the hard question “Well, where is the energy going to come from?”
In order to inform myself of the issues, I have undertaken a course in renewable energy systems at the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth in Wales.”
I was disappointed to find that the business partnership aspect of the programme materialise, and it was hampered by too short a timescale and cumbersome mechanisms for the release of the product development funding. Nonetheless, participants and organisers managed to produce an interesting and diverse range of concepts in a well-presented exhibition. As this is the first phase of an on-going programme, there will be opportunity to sort out these limiting factors and see some of the proposals reach full potential.