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

Posts tagged “candle making

Looking at 2018

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!

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Scents of Our Time – Closing Evening

I’ve been an artist in residence at Access Space for two weeks now, responding to news topics of the day through the unusual art form of candle making. Find out more about my thoughts and processes this coming Wednesday at Access Space from 5.30pm! full details here:

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I hope you can join me!


2018 Ambitions – Launching ‘Scents of our Time’

One of my ambitions in 2018 is to launch and exhibit ‘Scents of our Time’ – a body of work that that uses scent and candle making to explore social and political issues. Each candle will be a comment on a particular current event and I’d hope to cover a variety of topics. The aim is to reveal the capacity scent has for narrative, expression and contemplation. I have made 5 so far, and the issues covered include Brexit, climate change and terrorism. I’m currently looking for potential venues to exhibit this body of work, so if anyone knows of any suitable venues let me know!

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Scents of Our Time #2 – Fields of Wheat

All the fun and frolics of the outdoors without the indignity of displeasing any farmers, Fields of Wheat lets you unleash your naughty side with the earthy, heartening aroma of cut grass, pine needle and carrot seed. Perfect for when entertaining a politically-charged dinner party.

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Scents of Our Time is an ongoing series of work that explores the capacity scent has for social, moral and political commentary in relation to everyday life.


Scents of Our Time #1 – One Minute Silence

The ‘One Minute Silence’ has found unsettling prominence among our everyday lives in the wake of recent atrocities, particularly here in Britain. It is a period of silent and respectful contemplation usually in the wake of a tragic event.

As an expression of the sentiment of the one minute silence, and as a means to reveal the capacity scent has for humility and quiet observation, I bring to you the One Minute Silence candle. A fragrance that bears witness to tragedy with respect and harnesses the notions of  humanity and compassion. It’s both a tool and companion for moments of meaningful silence.

Nominally relaxing, but with a view to ease the mind into respectful and meditative thought. This blend of frankincense, lavender and sandalwood affords a grounded mental capacity which allows you to engage in reflection and contemplation.

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Scents of Our Time is an ongoing series of work that explores the capacity scent has for social, moral and political commentary in relation to everyday life.


Further Adventures in Candle Making

Studio time today saw me explore and experiment with candles, wax and how the common roles of candles can be re-contextualised.

As with the beginning of all my creative endeavors, the source of enquiry is creative processes and tour relationship between creative action and material.

A narrative ensues that initially casts candles within the roles of contemplation and reflection – the time it takes to arrive at or develop an idea. However, upon further scrutiny, it becomes clear that should these candles be lit, the surfaces that are needed to address an idea would be lost. This highlights the struggle between thought and execution.