Little Sun, a small solar-powered light, was launched today at the World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa as part of the WEF’s focus on how art can contribute to changing the world.
Leading artist Olafur Eliasson, working with engineer Frederik Ottesen, has been developing Little Sun – a work of art that works in life – over the last two years.
Little Sun provides a practical, affordable, and safe source of artificial light to some of the 1.6 billion people worldwide who live without access to mains electricity. Little Sun makes light for living, learning, and earning. Little Sun creates business opportunities in off-grid regions that generate profits for everyone involved, in all stages of production, distribution, retail, and use.
The light’s durable, versatile sun-like design utilises a 6 x 6 cm mono-crystalline solar module. When charged for four hours in the sunlight, Little Sun will yield five hours of bright LED illumination.
Olafur Eliasson said: “Little Sun is a small work of art with a large reach. It brings the different strands of my work together in a new, meaningful context. One part of the artwork is the lamp itself and the activities enabled by its light; the other is the successful integration of Little Sun into off-grid communities – its journey from production to usage.”
The Little Sun project will be presented at Tate Modern, London, this summer in a specially created exhibition as part of the London 2012 Festival, the cultural programme that accompanies the London 2012 Olympic Games. Details will be announced shortly.
A photo exhibition by leading Ethiopian artists about Little Sun solutions to energy poverty will be presented during the Forum: Tehras Berhe, Mihret Kebede, Desta Madere, Merklit Mersha, Michael Tsegaye, and Helen Zeru.
Studio Olafur Eliasson