The Active Energy project has won the Times Higher Education award 2022 for Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year.
On the evening of 17th November 2022 at a ‘glittering’ ceremony at the Hilton London Metropole, members of The Geezers Club accompanied Loraine Leeson, Professor Ann Light (who instigated the project in 2007) and Middlesex University’s Director of Knowledge Transfer Professor Mark Gray to accept this prestigious award. Described as the ‘Oscars of higher education’, these annual awards showcase the best in higher education and in this case paid tribute to a twelve-year arts-led project driven by the Geezers’ interest and enthusiasm in ensuring that renewable energy can support the lives of older people in riverside communities.
The Geezers have had a special interest in the development of tidal power, which is not subject to the vagaries of wind or sun and eminently suitable for an island nation with its many tidal rivers. It was the proximity of the Thames and the fact that older people can often not afford to heat their homes that initially inspired the Geezers to embark on this journey with artist Loraine Leeson and others to see where it would lead. Not only has much been achieved, but the value of the initiative has now recognised with the value it deserved.
Winner to be announced at an awards ceremony at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel 17th November 2022
6.30pm Sunday 22nd May online
Loraine Leeson talks about her chapter “Active Energy: Bringing Local Knowledge into the Public Realm” for the recently published book Ecoart in Action.
Register for the event here
The event provided an overview of Ecoart in Action: Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities. Compiled from 67 members of the Ecoart Network. Ecoart in Action stands as a field guide for ecoart practice. It provides adaptable strategies for engaging a wide range of learners within a variety of learning environments.
Recording of this presentation by Loraine Leeson and other authors of the book can be found here.
ACTIVE ENERGY: COMMUNITIES COUNTERING CLIMATE CHANGE by Loraine Leeson.
The article outlines the development of the Active Energy project and the organic way in which such projects can gain longevity if they are rooted in community and not subject to the overarching constraints of commissions or funding bodies. Through supporting concerns identified by senior citizens in East London, Active Energy has been able to address urgent ecological issues and discover new ways that crucial local knowledge can have an effect both locally and with a constituency far beyond its own borders.
On 20th September 2019, as millions of school children, workers and trades unionists across the globe commenced a week of action for climate justice, the Active Energy project celebrated how older and younger people have come together to work for environmental change in their community.
The event was held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, close to where the water wheel is located. It was opened by Paul Brickell, Executive Director for Regeneration and Community Partnerships at the London Legacy Development Corporation.
2-4pm Friday 20th September 2019
Loraine Leeson and The Geezers invite you to celebrate their latest venture in the Active Energy arts project. A floating water wheel has been installed close to the London Aquatics Centre in the Waterworks River to drive an aerator that will help counteract the effects of pollution on the river’s fish and wildlife. Meanwhile pupils from Bow School have constructed their own working models of turbines using designs suitable for the generation of renewable energy.
The Last Drop
5 Thornton Street, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2AD
Close to the ArcelorMittal Orbit
Nearest tube: Stratford
Pupils at Bow School, East London have been taking part in workshops led by engineer Toby Borland as part of Loraine Leeson’s Active Energy project.
They were supported by members of The Geezers Club from AgeUK Bow, who have been a central part of this project for the last twelve years – it was their idea to find out how the River Thames and its tributaries could be used to power their community. Students from the MA Art and Social Practice at Middlesex University also assisted.
The young people’s working models will be on display at a public event to be held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on the afternoon of Friday 20th September. Watch this space for details.
On 4th July 2019 an Active Energy floating water wheel was installed in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.
This is the latest initiative of the Active Energy project led by artist Loraine Leeson with members of the Geezers Club from AgeUK Bow. With the help of engineer Toby Borland they have developed different schemes over a period of twelve years, which demonstrate how sustainable energy can be used to support their community.
The floating water wheel can be seen in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park between Thornton and Iron Bridge, where it has been installed to help the survival of fish and wildlife. In certain weather conditions sewage finds its way into the river, where it uses up oxygen and can cause fish to die. Lock gates along the river are raised intermittently to allow water to flow, and at these times the wheel turns, driving air into the river.
3.30 – 5pm Saturday 13th May 2017
at National Mills Weekend
For this new phase of the Active Energy project a floating water wheel is being placed in the River Lee close to an historic tidal mill. The outflow from the mill pool will turn the wheel, which will then drive an aerator to oxygenate the water and counteract the effects of pollution on the river’s fish and wildlife.
The process has been led by artist Loraine Leeson working with the Geezers, a seniors’ group based at AgeUK, and supported by the Lea Valley team of the Hydrocitizenship research initiative. Engineer Toby Borland designed and implemented the new wheel, while Thames 21’s Love the Lea has provided facilities, advice and further support. The wheel’s low-cost open source design will soon be viewable on the Active Energy web site so that others can take up the idea.
House Mill, Three Mill Lane, Bromley-by-Bow, London E3 3DU
email@example.com 020 8980 4626
Nearest tube: Bromley by Bow
Active Energy has received the Best Arts and Green Energy award from Regen SW. The awards were announced at an event at the Bath Assembly Rooms on 29th November 2016. This is the 13th annual awards ceremony to honour innovation in the development of green energy and the first to recognise the arts as a key player in this process.