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Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun project launches campaign for a solar-powered future

Diana Ejaita, Reach for the Sun (2021) Little Sun

The non-profit organisation Little Sun, a climate-conscious initiative founded by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and the engineer Frederik Ottesen, is commemorating Earth Day today with the launch of a campaign to raise awareness around the environmental crisis and solar-powered solutions.

The communication campaign Reach for the Sun: Ten Steps to Creating a Solar-Powered World has been illustrated by the Berlin-based Nigerian-Italian artist Diana Ejaita and contains resources to educate individuals and organisations about solar energy ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is slated to be held in in Glasgow in November this year.

The Little Sun project began in 2012, when it designed affordable portable solar lamps for people who live off the power grid. According to the organisation, the initiative has reduced around 800,000 metric tons of carbon emissions and saved off-grid households more than $150m in energy expenses.

Eliasson, who is known for this environmentalist installations, has long advocated for the power of art to create change. His conceptual work The Weather Project (2003) at the Tate Modern in London immersed the Turbine Hall with cloud-like formations that dissipated into the space, evoking the power of the sun and sky.

“I have been pushing for art to act on its responsibility and for others to understand its potential,” Eliasson wrote in his book Open House (2017). “My motivation is simple: I think art and culture are incredibly robust and have so much to offer, also outside the cultural sectors.”