Visions of Sustainability Exhibit Showcases Power and Elemental Beauty of Renewable Energy

09 January 2018| Press Release

Week-long art exhibit hosted by IRENA brings global message of renewables and sustainability to UAE

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., 9 January 2018 — Artistic works inspired by renewable energy and sustainability will be on display in Abu Dhabi as part of a new exhibit, Visions of Sustainability, organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on the occasion of its annual Assembly meeting.

The exhibit, showcasing multimedia art by world renowned artist Bill Fontana in a unique collaboration with IRENA, will be displayed at Manarat Al Saadiyat between 15 and 20 January 2018.

“The last decade has seen the prospects of renewable energy grow dramatically. Falling costs and improved technology has transformed renewables from a niche industry to a thriving sector featuring innovative and widely applicable energy solutions for a sustainable 21st century,” says IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“While it is clear to those in the energy sector that renewables will play a vital role in powering the future, one of the missions of IRENA, as the global voice for renewable energy, is making that case to the public. At Visions of Sustainability, we will do that through the medium of art. Art transcends culture and language and expands our understanding of what is possible. With this exhibit we want to awaken a realisation of this fundamental shift in the eyes of the general the public through a compelling artistic representation of the primal power and beauty of wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energy sources,” Mr. Amin added.

Focusing on the themes of renewable energy and sustainability, the exhibit will feature a special multimedia installation produced by Mr. Fontana — an American conceptual artist who has developed an international reputation for pioneering experiments in sound and vision. For Visions of Sustainability, he has produced recordings from renewable energy sites all over the world – in Austria, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America – and digitally augmenting them to put renewable energy technologies in a new light.

“The beauty of renewable energy is that it’s all around us. Lapping shores, warm earth, steady winds, and bright skies are present in some form just about everywhere on Earth. In producing this series of work at locations across the world, I show the immense natural power of our planet,” says Mr. Fontana.

“This exhibit heralds a transition in my work artistically, and has deepened my understanding of the renewable solutions for the challenge of meeting growing energy demand while preserving our environment,” Mr. Fontana added. The exhibit will also bring together a collection of art pieces produced by UAE artists and students from Abu Dhabi’s top universities.

An opening of the exhibit on the evening of 14 January for VIPs and delegates to IRENA’s annual Assembly meeting and moderated by CNN’s Isa Soares will feature special guest speakers, including: architect, designer and sustainability thought leader, William McDonough; pioneering solar aviator and explorer, Bertrand Piccard and Mr. Fontana.

The IRENA Assembly, is the Agency’s ultimate decision-making authority, bringing together government officials from over 150 countries and leaders from the private sector and civil society to advance the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transformation. The Assembly also marks the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and precedes the World Future Energy Summit, during which IRENA will host and participate in a series of events, covering topics ranging from the decarbonisation of energy systems to the ways to reduce water-use in electricity generation.

Visions of Sustainability will be displayed at Manarat Al Saadiyat between 15 and 20 January 2018.Visit IRENA's website for more details.