‘Grace of the Sun’ by Robert Montgomery x Octopus Energy x Little Sun
Grace of the Sun, 2021 was created by Scottish artist Robert Montgomery, in collaboration with Octopus Energy and Little Sun (founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen), a nonprofit organisation working to deliver affordable clean energy and inspire climate action. Comprising 1,000 solar powered lights, measuring 11 metres wide and 5 metres tall, the work was produced over a year in Montgomery’s studio using Little Sun’s lights. Grace of the Sun was created in conjunction with the UN Climate Conference, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, hosted by conference President, Alok Sharma (British politician who was previously Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from 2020 to 2021). Located on The Landing Hub on the Sustainable Glasgow Landing site, Glasgow, Scotland, the goal of Grace of the Sun was to put greater pressure on COP26 to invest and commit to renewable energy. The work was viewed by thousands of people – including the local community and those attending the summit.
Montgomery, known for his powerful public art often imbued with political undertones, was a particularly apt choice for this collaboration. Much like Little Sun’s Olafur Eliasson, Montgomery centrally concentrates on democratising art in his practice, bridging the gap between poetry and the visual. The artist’s work has a particular history in causing upheaval through its activist undertones – such as his Bethanl Green William Blake billboard, which he was subsequently arrested for. Following the end of COP26, Grace of the Sun was dismantled. The lights were subsequently used by Little Sun to provide clean, affordable solar power to the 600 million people living without electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the nonprofit has brought solar light and energy to over 3 million people to date.
The Landing Hub on the Sustainable Glasgow Landing site, 220 Broomielaw, Glasgow. G1 4RU.
29th October to 12th November 2021.