Art-ificial Microclimate

April 8th saw the opening of the most ambitious exhibition ever staged by the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark. Occupying 3000 square metres of artwork distributed on two floors it marks the beginning of a narrative about 400 years of human interaction with nature.

The first part of a three-part exhibition, The Garden – End of Times, Beginning of Times comprises more than 100 artworks (paintings, installations, video art, and sculptures) from over 400 years of art history.

Here at Victron Energy, one installation particularly caught our eye – or at least, the eye of Niels Kaarill, sales and technical adviser covering Scandinavia – who carried out the programming of the electrical installation which powers one of the displays.

Before…

During…

After!!

It was a work by Meg Webster – a sculptor from San Francisco who is interested in natural materials. Her installation features four troughs of plants growing under lamps whose purple light is of a spectrum which feeds and nurtures the plants providing them with the energy they need.

For me, the most striking thing about Meg Webster’s installation is that it’s flooded with an almost eerie light, compelling you to look more closely at the shape and variety of the plants which grow there. It fascinates the imagination, creating a sense of transformed reality – particularly as the whole work is reflected back to you distorted by sheets of Mylar which are draped around the troughs like a warped mirror. In spite of its appearance of other-worldliness – the plants grow vigorously.

Fundamental to Meg Webster’s message in her artwork is that the lights which provide life for these ‘indoor’ plants are Solar-Powered. In her work she presents the natural world around us in a way which makes us take notice. I want you to care. She says.

Not part of the artwork – but also interesting to us – is that the control and storage of the solar power is managed by:
EasySolar 24/3000/70
BlueSolar MPPT 150/100
Color Control GX
8 x AGM Batteries 12/165

The works presented in the ARoS Museum Exhibition tell a story about man’s interaction with nature, past, present and future – through art. It runs until September 10th.

Justin Tyers

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