playing with perfume | speculating on studio spaces | commenting with candles

Posts tagged “Athens

Pondering Platforms Project

Earlier this month I exhibited at Platforms Project, Athens as part of a group exhibition that looked at the contemplation of our solar system. I, alongside artists Sharon Mossbeck and Alison Whitmore, took 3 planets and interpreted them through our own modes of enquiry with reference to Ancient Greece.

Sharon’s work comprised painting and cross-stitch, Alison’s comprised sculptural and works and I presented 3 perfumes, each representing the Greek gods of Zeus, Kronos and Ouranos.

Platforms Project – which is an art fair – was well attended. It reached 16,000 people and our exhibition was well received. I even managed to sell a thing or two, which is great. There are, however, a few caveats with regard to my own work that should be addressed if I am to learn anything and develop from the experience. You see, after much consideration of how to translate three Greek Gods into a scented experience, I decided ultimately to play it straight – simply designing 3 perfumes that acted as portraits of each God. I assumed that this would result in a clear connection between object and concept and would transcend language barriers.

Ironically, by playing it so straight I exposed just how obtuse the notion of a perfume portrait actually is. While the audience did seem to rather like the scents and visual embellishment on display at a base level, the link between the perfumes and the Greek Gods wasn’t as clear as I thought it would be. It required further explanation, which wasn’t always easy to do due to a combination of a complex concept and the language barrier. (although this is partly my fault – I really ought to learn Greek if I’m going there every year.)

Interestingly, a volunteer who also helped out with Platforms Project last year said that she remembered the scented experience I designed last year and that, while she liked what I did this year, she loved what I did last year, which was essentially a narrative based on the notion of The Grand Tour, which incorporated scent:

So perhaps scented sculptural work designed to tell a story, rather than a straight perfume portrait, would actually be more successful in engaging a wider audience? Or maybe the Greek Gods and the complexities of their narratives would benefit from a different approach to a straight perfume portrait? Perhaps a more careful consideration of why I’m choosing specific scented designs is required, based on the concepts I’m trying to reveal.

Either way, it was once again a pleasure to exhibit at Platforms Project and naturally it was another great chance to visit a beautiful city. But maybe next time I’ll leave the perfume at home.

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Perfumes and Planets

Next week I travel to Athens to participate in Platforms Project – an independent art fair in the heart of the city. It’s the 3rd time I will have entered work into the art fair, and the 2nd time I’ve directly been involved in the curation and installation of my work.

This year my participation in Platforms Project will once again take the guise of a group exhibition. The exhibition, entitled ‘Wonderer’ seeks to reacquaint an audience with Ancient Greek appropriations of the planets.

The exhibition comprises 3 artists – myself, Sharon Mossbeck and Alison Whitmore – and we have taken 3 planets each to interpret, explore and interpret from an Ancient Greek context. My chosen planets are Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter. Or, as the Ancient Greeks would have it; Ouranous, Kronos and Zeus – three Greek Gods with a family lineage.

So how does a fine art perfumer go about creating something from these three Gods? Well, by taking advantage of the family lineage and utilising the capacity fragrance has for narrative, metaphor and I have encapsulated the planets of Ouranous, Kronos and Zeus in three separate fragrances.

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Each fragrance contains potent spices and woody notes; alluding to their godly, confident qualities and direct family history. Yet they also contain delicate floral notes, zesty fruits and earthy spices in an attempt to describe each God’s individual narrative.

Each perfume is a portrait of the respective God and is as rich and complex as you might expect from portraiture. Hopefully my audience at Platforms Project will agree that my unique approach to perfumery reveals a meaningful and untapped art form.


Open Call for an Exhibition in Athens – ‘Stars’

This open call has now ended.

Fronteer presents Stars, an open call to submit work for an exhibition in Athens, Greece in May 2018.

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Fronteer is an arts initiative hosted by myself and artist Sharon Mossbeck that seeks to provide creative opportunities and events both nationally and internationally.

We are asking artists to submit artwork based on the theme of stars for an exhibition at Platforms Project 18 in Athens. The exhibition will house work created by Fronteer artists based on the solar system alongside stars created by artists successful in this open call. You may interpret the theme of stars however you wish, but do bear in mind we’re looking for work to complement Fronteer’s solar system work.

For Stars we are looking for small scale works (no bigger than 25cm across any one side.) The open call is free to enter, and artists are invited to submit one piece of work for consideration. If successful, your work will be subject to a £15 charge to cover transportation and exhibition costs, as well as return postage after the exhibition. To reiterate, the £15 charge will apply only if your work is selected. Work must already be complete at the time of submission.

Work can be offered for sale at the exhibition if you wish and no commission will be charged for sales.

Because the works will be carried with us to Athens, each piece must be:

  • Flat
  • Sturdy enough to survive the journey (all works will be carefully packaged)
  • Light weight
  • Made of materials and substances which are suitable to be transported to Europe
  • Unframed and finished to a standard high enough to be exhibited

The deadline for submissions is 10pm on Friday 30th March and successful artists will be notified by email on Friday 6th April.

If successful you will be invited to send or deliver your work to Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield UK, where Fronteer is based. The £15 can be paid via Paypal, bank transfer or in cash if you are delivering work by hand. If successful, your work and full payment must reach us by no later than 4thMay.

The exhibition will be held at Athens School of Fine Arts from 17th – 20thMay 2018.

Unsold works will be returned to artists by no later than 20th July, unless other arrangements have been made for collection. Basic 2nd class postage costs are covered by the £15 fee. If you wish for work to be returned by other means an extra fee may apply.

How to Submit

Artists are invited to submit ONE piece of work.  

To submit work, please email no more than 3 images of your work to fronteerart@gmail.com along with the following:

  • your name
  • title of the piece
  • dimensions of the piece
  • weight of work if it is made of heavier materials (e.g. it is not on paper)
  • if it will be offered for sale, and if so, what price in Euros
  • up to 100 words about your work (this text will not be exhibited as part of the exhibition)
  • How the work should be hung (e.g. Velcro strips, nails etc.)

All work must be complete at the time of submission. Any work which varies from the original piece submitted may be rejected. Work should fit the specifications outlined below.

Don’t forget, work must be:

  • Flat (2D)
  • Sturdy enough to survive the journey (all works will be carefully packaged)
  • Light weight
  • Made of materials and substances which are suitable to be transported to Europe
  • Unframed and finished to a standard high enough to be exhibited
  • Based on the theme of stars

What you get for your money

Fronteer Arts understands that creative opportunities can often be hindered by financial barriers. We try to be transparent and price our open calls reasonably to ensure our costs are covered while providing viable opportunities for artists. Fees are not charged for organisers to make a profit. As such, here is a breakdown of where your £15 goes.

For your £15 you get:

  • Your work in a group exhibition, which last year was attended by over 8000 visitors, including celebrities, dignitaries, politicians and international artists, and curators.
  • Invigilation of your work
  • Transport of work to and from Athens
  • No commission on sales
  • Work returned to you via Royal Mail 2nd Class

And don’t forget, there is no fee for submitting a piece – the fee will only apply if you are successful.

Thank you and good luck! 


Road to Athens #7 – New Dionysus

Concluding that inward desires now hark for a return journey, I travel west back to England equipped with all but 1 member of the fragrance family.

Informed by my experiences in Greece and the acquiring of scented knowledge, I compile one last fragrance from of Dionysus. It is redesigned for English audiences with respect, not spite. As such, a votive offering of wine is created, referencing at once Dionysus’ religious and cultural prowess and his capacity for madness.

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New Dionysus constitutes 1 artefact of 6 that I will display in a group exhibition at Platforms Project 2017 in Athens from 20th – 25th May 2017 alongside other members of Soup Collective International (SCI)


Road to Athens #5 – Narcissus and Echo

Returning to European territory and equipped with the reverence of my experiences the raw and joyous freedom of travel begins to return. Aloof, I venture unknown through complex floral landscapes and, like a frightened deer caught in a net, lose my sense of direction.

My panicked dispositions eventually wane as I rest by a stream. I conclude that arrogance attempted to best the noble virtues of the job in hand. As I gazed at my own reflection I reconvened with my own sense of humility, less I become cursed by vanity.

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Narcissus and Echo constitutes 1 artefact of 6 that I will display in a group exhibition at Platforms Project 2017 in Athens from 20th – 25th May 2017 alongside other members of Soup Collective International (SCI)


Returning to Crowdfunding

A mere 8 months since my solo crowdfunding effort, I find myself once again involved in such a campaign! This time though, it’s a group effort.

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Click here to support SCI Art-Athena

SCI – an arts collaborative I am a part of – are looking to raise funds for the opportunity to exhibit internationally. Reaching our goal will enable at least two members of the collaborative to travel to Athens

This is a great opportunity for SCI to develop as a collaborative, and will also gives you a fantastic opportunity to purchase some unique and handmade pieces of work: From paper drawings to etchings, and from paintings to mixed media collages, this crowdfunding campaign has something for everyone. Your contribution will also support the arts and offer the chance for a group of artists to gain new opportunities and new ways of developing their careers, which is a brilliant thing to give.

We’ve made a fantastic start – already raising a quarter of the funds we need. But we still need your help! Any contribution or promoting of the campaign would be very appriciated. And I’d like to say thank you so much to those who have already engaged with the project.

You can find more information about the project and how to donate here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sci-platforms-project-at-art-athena-2016#/

Many thanks!