Sunday, 24 March 2024

Solar Art Prize

I am pleased to join you for the presentation of the 2024 Solar Art Prize.

As Governor and as patron of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts, it’s my great pleasure to support the visual arts in our state.

This is especially the case when they intersect with such a vital endeavour as raising awareness of climate change and environmental sustainability.

As citizens, we are right to be dismayed at the impact of climate change on our planet.

On Tuesday, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization released a new report confirming that 2023 was the hottest year on record.

There is every reason we should be alarmed by the steady stream of similar data, even as here in South Australia we are already taking significant action to address climate change.

South Australia has reduced emissions by 42 per cent from 2005 levels and currently generates over 70 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.

That and our improved air and water quality over recent decades give us cause for hope and to think that we can – and must – make a difference.

As Governor I am heartened to meet South Australian individuals and businesses committed to meeting the challenges posed by climate change with solar energy.

These include Vena Energy’s solar farm at Tailem Bend, home to an impressive 610,000 solar panels, Sundrop Farms in Port Augusta, a hydroponic tomato farm which uses solar energy to cool, heat and run its greenhouses, and Tindo Solar here in Adelaide.

Government House also operates solar power on the main house and two residential cottages in our grounds.

I thank Pip for her innovative idea to provide vouchers for solar home infrastructure as an alternative to modest cash prizes, encouraging prize winners to take up solar at their homes, or passing on the vouchers to family and friends.

Since the prize began in 2010, more than 100 people are now set up with solar power, worth a total of $500,000.

I thank Pip for her generosity in funding these prizes, as well as Natural Technology Systems for providing the solar systems to winners in addition to sponsoring the Wild Nature prize.


From the work on show, we see that artists have diverse ideas and approaches to presenting their concern for the environment, climate change, human involvement and their love of nature.

We see depicted a variety landscapes, seascapes, wild fauna & flora; striking colours and shapes which will elicit a variety of responses.

Congratulations to all artists who entered the 2024 Solar Art Prize, and especially to those selected as finalists.

Thank you for your commitment to channelling your creativity into artwork that raises awareness of climate change and its impacts, communicating urgency and inspiring us all to take action.

I’m pleased that these works are on display to the public for three weeks, and that winners will also be part of this year’s SALA Festival at the Rising Sun Inn.

I look forward to presenting the awards and to seeing art continue to drive positive change.

Coming events