Another month, another great opportunity to extend my Perfume as Practice body of work beyond portraiture.
Notes of the Bard combines fragrance, poetry, colour and photography in order to highlight how each of those disciplines can act as a foundation for creative processes. It also attempts to elevate perfumery as a viable medium for communication, as when placed within the context of other creative disciplines a capacity for interpretation, investigation and inspiration is revealed: When removed from its preconceived context, perfumery can readily be regarded as a tool for creative action.
The idea of placing 4 disciplines together emerged through the idea of the colour wheel; I have one pinned up in my studio, alongside a light wheel and a fragrance wheel, and after a little research I also came across a poetry wheel. The fact that each discipline could be quantified and measured based on a set of rules intrigued me, as it revels the similarities between the application and treatment of each discipline – including perfumery.
Innocuous beginnings, maybe. But of course the ramifications for providing alternative modes of thinking about fragrance extends beyond the face value of a box with some stuff inside; it instigates change, provides agency and can empower sets of communities in a manner that forges new connections. In this instance it smells pretty nice too.
Notes of the Bard will be displayed as part of a group exhibition entitled TalkEx17, at St. Ann’s Building, Rotherham, from 3rd – 7th April.
Utilising the craft of perfumery as a means to create portraiture has been at the heart of my creative practice and intentions for about 2 years now. While this will persist in 2017 I’m increasingly aware of the capacity perfume has to relate to other manners of creative practice. As such, I have developed a hunch; can scent communicate colour and as such, can perfumes be created that represent the colour spectrum?
Scent can certainly evoke colour; but the evocative qualities of scent have been readily explored and are open to subjection. Rather, the perfumes I wish to create must be a direct translation of colour – an objective tool that can be utilised by artists as a basis for instigating creative thought, processes and action. Essentially, the perfumes must directly correlate to the colour wheel; something fundamental and a reference to how artists apply, treat and understand perfume as a potential material.
Quite a conceptual premise, then – something of a critical appraisal of how scent and colour are intrinsically linked as tools for communication. And, as a means to act on my initial hunch here’s a bit of initial empirical research – 7 perfumes denoting the 7 colours of the colour spectrum:
As ever, the aim is to speculate on a reality whereby scent is our means of communication in order to reveal alternative modes of communication, alternative ways of regarding perfume and an informed understanding of the potential of scent in our lives.