Looking back on my creative output over the last year, I’d have to conclude that I have had a relatively successful 2018 – I have delivered on my promise of staging two Perfume as Practice shows a year, immersed myself in the possibilities of candle making in contemporary art, and have reached new audiences both nationally and internationally. So I guess I can’t complain!
This year, I endeavoured to stage both Perfume as Practice shows outside Sheffield. This was an effort to extend my audience reach and introduce new sets of people to the artistic possibilities of perfumery. To that end, I have been successful, as my shows were staged at BasementArtsProject, Leeds, and Bureau Centre for the Arts, Blackburn. (In fact, you can still see my work at BasementArtsProject until the end of January!)
I wanted to see a tangible development in Perfume as Practice – both in terms of the quality of the perfumes made and audience expectation. This was achieved by placing Perfume as Practice in contexts and spaces previously untapped: My exhibition in Blackburn placed perfumery within the context of religion while my exhibition in Leeds was a joint show, placing Perfume as Practice alongside the work of artist Emilia Telese.
One of the failures of my 2017 was that I involved myself in too many group exhibitions, thus compromising the quality of my output. This has been rectified this year as I have carefully selected opportunities relevant to the development of my practice.
I also embarked on a new project; Scents of Our Time. This took the guise of a residency at Access Space and a solo show at Mugen Tea House. In hindsight, the process of using candle making to describe news stories is very immersive, and probably works best as a residency. I think the jury is still out on how an audience responds to it, but there is certainly a lot of potential in the idea and I will seek new opportunities to develop the idea in the new year.
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in making my 2018 such a success and, actually, a very enjoyable year. I think I feel completely at ease with Perfume as Practice as an idea, and now just seek to hone it, push it in new directions and reach new audiences.
2019 promises to be rather exciting – it will see me stage my first solo show in London, embark on new Perfume as Practice shows in Wolverhampton and Bristol, and continue to stage events and workshops that provide an insight into my unique approach to perfume making and ways of utilising scent in art. Looking forward to it!
Over the last month myself and Sharon Mossbeck – under our arts initiative Fronteer – have been busy organising, curating and promoting an open call exhibition and arts prize, entitled The Fronteer Open 2018. Sadly, this has now come to an end, but we hope to be back again next year with slightly amended plans and bigger prizes. Here’s a bit more information about the exhibition and how it all went.
We had around 550 visitors come through the exhibition, including around 100 visitors to the Private View. If you didn’t make it along to the Awards Evening, and you haven’t yet seen it on social media, our winning artists are:
Professional Winner: Caroline Greyling, One Second in Covent Garden
Amateur Winner: Susan Wright, Contours 2
Student Winner: Charlie Ottaway, Fish and Chips, By the Sea
People’s Choice Winner: Philip Lee, We Are All Wanderers
We were so impressed with the standard of work throughout the exhibition, and we hope that you all consider yourselves as winners for getting into the exhibition out of the more than 120 entries we received.
The feedback has been fantastic, with many visitors coming specially to see the exhibition. Everyone we have spoken to has said that the exhibition was excellent, the standard of work was really high, and the diversity of the work meant that there was something for everyone, so very well done to you all, and thank you for being involved.
We received more than 150 votes in the People’s Choice Award, and people really engaged with the exhibition when they decided to vote. The voting was spread pretty evenly across the exhibition, with every piece of work in the exhibition receiving at least one vote.
For a comprehensive collection of photos, take a look at our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FronteerArt/
We cannot wait to deliver more open call opportunities next year!