An exhibition of portraits of Oliveri (Messina, Sicily) inhabitants printed on photovoltaic panels
The Be-Smart project has received funding from The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818009
Photovoltaic emotion, grassroots energy
Figli del Sole (Children of the Sun) is a permanent exhibition in the community of Oliveri, Sicily. At the heart of Figli del Sole are 40 photographic portraits of local residents,
which are intriguingly integrated onto photovoltaic panels and displayed in a public park of the city. The subjects – men, women, and children of the community – reflect the diversity of Oliveri, which is part of the Sicilian city of Messina.
The great final format (1 x 1.7 m) adds to the power of the images and offers an intriguing relationship in scale between each photograph and the public. The installation is directly connected to the local electricity grid.
When art and technology meet a community
The models were chosen according to their relationship with the sun, whose path is traced by the panels. One represents, for example, the beginning of the fisherman’s working day at
4:00 a.m. while another celebrates working on the land in the softness of a late sunny day. An ode to the sun, this powerful visual narrative continues throughout the day. A stunning blend of art, technology, and humanity.
The compelling portraits were made by two young local photographers, Alessio Magazzù and Stefano Iarrera, both native of Oliveri. The photographs were taken on location and without artifice or retouching,
The panels are displayed to follow the path of the sun during a day from sunrise to sunshine. They are accompanied by metal plates embedded in the ground that work like an enormous sundial. They illustrate precisely where the shadow is cast by each of the panels at its maximum exposure to the sun on the summer solstice. These metal plates are used as supports for local quotes and expressions collected from the inhabitants of Oliveri and closely linked to Sicilian culture and territory.
The Figli del Sole project demonstrates the potential for the enhancement of the urban environment and, with the ability to integrate different colours and images, illustrates the enormous aesthetic potential of photovoltaic technologies.
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This summer, Compaz inaugurated “Figli del Sole”, an exhibition part of the Be-Smart project and located in Oliveri, Sicily.
At the heart of "Figli del Sole" are photographic portraits of Oliveri residents, which are intriguingly integrated onto photovoltaic panels and displayed in a public park in Oliveri. The subjects – men, women, and children of the community – reflect the diversity of Oliveri, which is part of the Sicilian county of Messina.