The Art of Energy Virtual Gallery

  • Field, Sean (Participant)
  • Sarah Grace Prudence O'Brien (Participant)

Impact: Cultural, Creative Impact, Educational Impact (Beyond St Andrews), Public Discourse Impact

Description of impact

The Art of Energy virtual gallery is an innovative initiative that showcases how scholarly research can be creatively integrated with the arts to present a complex world that challenges us to consider the sort of society we are fuelling and the sort of society we wish to fuel. The gallery hosts exhibits by three award-winning and world-renowned photographers (Ed Kashi, Owen Logan and Brook Peterson), a commissioned sound installation from pecq that incorporates recordings by energy ethics researchers from their field sites, as well as the works of thirty artists, writers, and filmmakers short-listed for the inaugural Art of Energy Award.

Between 18 February and 31 July, the gallery received an unprecedented 1,290 visitors and more than 11,200 minutes of user engagement. Visitors have engaged with the gallery from the UK, the US, Canada, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus, Austria, France, Germany, Denmark, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and Iran.

This gallery was established with funds from the ERC-funded research project The Ethics of Oil, led by Dr Mette High, and sustained with SARIRF funding for the Centre for Energy Ethics and Knowledge Exchange and Impact award from the University of St Andrews:

2017-2022: Starting Grant, European Research Council, The Ethics of Oil: Finance Moralities and Environmental Politics in the Global Oil Economy (ENERGY ETHICS): Dr Mette High, XERH12.

2020-2021: St Andrews Restarting Interdisciplinary Research Fund (SARIRF), Energy Interdisciplinarity at St Andrews: Centre for Energy Ethics. XRR081.

2021: University of St Andrews Knowledge Exchange and Impact award: Dr Sean Field and Sarah O'Brien

Who is affected

To date, the beneficiaries of the gallery have been the artistic contributors whose work has been on display in the gallery since February 2021. The artists participating in the gallery are drawn from regions around the world, including the United Kingdom, the European Union, North America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Members of the public have also benefited. Since opening in February 2021, visitors have had an opportunity to engage with the gently challenging content in a meaningful and thought-provoking way. The exhibits in the gallery invite visitors to reflect on the various and complex ways in which life is entangled with energy.


Visitors have commented:

“It really got me thinking about energy and the way I use it…. I’ve learned so much during this process.”

“Thanks so much to the Centre for organizing this… it’s really nice that people have the imagination to approach these ethical problems of the energy revolution through art.”

“I'm so thrilled to be a part of it and in the company of such moving works…”

“What an incredible vision which has been realised…. it felt like MOMA had arrived in Fife.”
Impact statusOpen
Impact date18 Feb 202131 Dec 2021
Category of impactCultural, Creative Impact, Educational Impact (Beyond St Andrews), Public Discourse Impact
Impact levelInvolvement - mid or active stage