Last week I was chatting with my 5 year old daughter who asked me: “Mom, wouldn’t be beautiful if solar panels had a beautiful design, like flowers, stars and butterflies?” (referring to those horrible installations in Italian street roundabouts) .
Then you can imagine how I started laughing when I saw this wonderful work of art by the celebrated Dutch artist and designer Jeroen Verhoeven.
Virtue of Blue, 2010, is a delicate construction featuring 500 solar panels cut into the shapes of four different breeds of butterfly. These cluster around a flame-like, hand-blown glass bulb and, though they are static, appear to be in flight. Another remarkable element of the chandelier is that it is self-sustaining; like real butterflies, which use the rays of the sun to raise their own body temperatures, the wings of the chandelier butterflies absorb energy during daylight hours to provide power for the light they surround.