Australia’s first completely solar-powered art show, curated by COFA academic Allan Giddy,  opens in the desert town of Broken Hill this month.

Desert Equinox - staged to coincide with the spring equinox - will showcase 26 national and international solar powered artworks designed to incorporate the sun, solar power and the unique desert location.

The show is the idea of Allan Giddy, Director of COFA’s Environmental Research Initiative for Art. He said timing the show to coincide with the spring equinox was deliberate.

“The equinox marks a “tipping point” in the year, and as society we are at crucial tipping point climatically and socially. The exhibition is about helping people understand the way we consume energy, as well as providing an opportunity for artists to directly engage with the local community.”

Visitors to the show are encouraged to navigate the town in search of the installations, which are intended for night-time viewing.

Locations for the artworks include the iconic Palace Hotel and the Line of Lode mullock heap that runs through the centre of Broken Hill. 

Giddy said the location encouraged the artists to merge topography and history with contemporary ideas.

“Broken Hill is a remarkable site that offers the opportunity for Australian and international artists to meet the challenges of installing work in an arid environment,” he said. “Each individual art work is autonomously solar powered which has allowed us to curate the whole city rather than being restricted to one building.”

COFA Masters of Art Administration student, Georgie Payne-Loy is Desert Equinox’s exhibitions Manager. She has spent the past 12 months helping develop the exhibition.

"It’s been an intense, wonderful, eye-opening year. Being privy to the minds and processes of these remarkable artists has reinforced why I decided to facilitate art rather than make it,” she said.

A number of COFA staff and students are exhibiting in the exhibition which includes international artists; Justin Carter, Julie Louise Bacon and Nat Goodden.

Desert Equinox is supported by the Australian Research Council, Broken Hill Inc, Broken Hill Art Exchange and the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. It runs from September 1-22.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 | 0429 416 070