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Perfume Portrait #122 – Stig Evans

Stig Evans 50ml EDT

Head – Tea Tree, Clary Sage

Heart –  Dandelion

Body – Patchouli, Honey

Description –  A picture of alchemy, here the act of attempting to achieve Magnum Opus may or may not result in perfumery.

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Evans’s Ferry is a Digitally manipulated photograph.

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Evans’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Perfume Portrait #120 – Marisa Culatto

Marisa Culatto 50ml EDT

Head – Rosemary, Peppermint

Heart – Marjoram

Body – Mulled wine, Frankincense

Description – An ode to Hungary Water; the first known European perfume making process which still informs our understanding of the workings of scent.

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Culatto’s Honest Landscape 2 was taken on a road from within the car. Thus it depicts a journey. It does so literally, but also conceptually as part of a series of photographs put through an established process that sees original images reworked, printed with a faulty home printer (which distorts colours), manually crumpled, and re-photographed again. This highlights how process driven work places the artist on a personal journey as well as the literal journey portrayed in the subject matter.

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Culatto’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Perfume Portrait #119 – Catherine Higham

Catherine Higham 50ml EDT

Head – Fresh linen

Heart – Geranium, Indian geranium, Rose geranium, Rose

Body – Ylang ylang

Description – Referencing an essential oil discovery set, this fragrance acts as a test bed for floral fragrances, offset by a clean, neutral top note. Perfect for discovering preferences and nuances.

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Higham’s painting Horizon is concerned with the materials and processes of landscape; both natural and fabricated.

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Higham’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Perfume Portrait #117 – Myfanwy Williams

Myfanwy Williams 50ml EDT

Head – Cut grass, Cotton

Heart – Spike lavender, Sea salt

Body – Driftwood, Musk

Description – Embracing all manner of the outdoors as a vehicle for balance, harmony and therapy. This fragrance drives a sense of adventure.

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Journey is one of a series of paintings which deal with Williams’s childhood journeying by sea, travelling from one land to another, and appreciating the different ways of life, from the spices of Zanzibar to the engineering feat of the Suez Canal.

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Williams’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Perfume Portrait #114 – Heather Fiona Martin

Heather Fiona Martin 50ml EDT

Head – Green Apple, Mandarin

Heart – Moss, Fir needle

Body –  Sandalwood, Patchouli

Description – Inspired by symbiotic relationships, and narratives found in nature, this concoction of earths and woods is at once balanced and chaotic.

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Martin’s Here be Dragons explores the depths of the deep seas and the life within remain unexplored; microscopic creatures at once beautiful and threatening. Here somehow similar but completely different pathogens causing disease both harmless and fatal.

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Martin’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Perfume Portrait #113 – Sue Burley

Sue Burley 50ml EDT

Head – Strawberry

Heart – Cocoa bean

Body – Rosewood, Honey

Description –  Pleasant gourmand scents hide a pressing environmental concern, as all chosen oils are vulnerable specimens due to climate change.

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Burley’s Sail Away is a depiction of birds and boats, which are paper cuts from the edges of other monoprint used in a collage. The colours inspired the subject. The sail boats and birds are on their own voyage and the picture can also be seen as an experimental voyage in using things that would often go to waste.

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Burley’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Perfume Portrait #112 – Lady M

Lady M 50ml EDT

Head – Grapefruit, Ravensara

Heart – Black Pepper

Body – Seaweed, Amber

Description –  Based on mythical sea creatures that act entirely on compulsion, this intense fragrance provokes artistic action.

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Mellow Yellow is a captivating fusion of saffron, jasmine and vanilla and was drawn from Lady M’s observations made in South Turkey. Unlike smellscapes; which are more of an olfactory phenomenology; Lady M’s work sees her odours and produce olfactory art in a gallery environment.

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Lady M’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Perfume Portrait #111 – Grant Lambie

Grant Lambie  50ml EDT

Head – Sweet Orange

Heart – Corriander, Cinnamon

Body – Frankincense, Benzoin

Description – A depiction of Catherine of Bologna, the Patron Saint of Artists: Here body notes depict religious sanctity, mid notes reference her capacity as a baker, and a top note that alludes to her sweet smelling grave.

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Lambie’s collage Circling is from a series of works which looks at ways the 2D map can be reconfigured to make different forms of reading. Here the ‘A’ roads have been isolated and collaged to made a continuous road, a never ending Roundabout. The new map then has become devoid of any useful information, which leaves the viewer asking what information was there to start with.

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Lambie’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Perfume Portrait #108 – Sharon Mossbeck

Sharon Mossbeck 50ml EDT

Head – Mandarin, peppermint.

Heart – Rose

Body – White Musk, Leather

Description – Embrace life and banish ills with this ode to a plague doctor mask.

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Mossbeck’s St Nicholas symbolically references the Patron Saint of sailors. There is a legend that during St Nicholas’s lifetime he appeared to sailors in a storm who prayed to him, and safely helped them to port. This work is part of a larger series of paintings inspired by martyr Saints; drawing on symbolism, myth and traditional iconography.

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Mossbeck’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.


Layers

This October saw me stage my ninth Perfume as Practice exhibition, which was held at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol and featured 18 perfumes, each a portrait of another artist and created using my well-established process that begins by asking artists the question ‘why do you make art?’ then responding to the answer received through scent design; capturing the essence of the artist.

As well as the core principle of subverting our expectations of perfumery by placing it in a contemporary art context, each Perfume as Practice exhibition strives to develop the project as a whole. Previously this has included incorporating visual elements, working towards specific themes and even placing the project alongside the work of another artist: All of which aimed to devise and assess different ways visitors may encounter perfume in a contemporary art space.

So, what was it about this incarnation that developed the project? Well, this was the first time that the perfume portraits were exhibited alongside visual work created by the artists themselves. So the audience encountered 18 perfume portraits and 18 corresponding works of art, and as such they were able to associate the perfumes with the artists involved in a direct and meaningful way.

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This added a new and welcome dimension to Perfume as Practice, as visitors took visible delight in connecting each perfume to each visual piece and ascertaining how I arrived at each perfume portrait. This actually made my perfume making process all the more transparent, as I was able to physically show audiences the work of each artist, and each artist elicited a presence within the exhibition. It was also interesting to witness audiences utilising both scent and vision to fully experience the exhibition; intuitively connecting one sense to another through engagement with art.

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Was it the most accomplished Perfume as Practice incarnation? Quite possibly. Though that’s thanks in no small part to the artists themselves, who were as follows:

Sue Burley
JanCarlo Caling
Marisa Culatto
Stig Evans
Jenna Fox
Andrea Freeman
Liz Griffiths
Catherine Higham
Jeff Hunter
Lady M
Grant Lambie
Heather Fiona Martin
Sharon Mossbeck
Helen Sills
Agatha Smith
Clare Smith
Robert Verrill
Myfanwy Williams

It was also fantastic to exhibit at Centrespace, which is a wonderful gallery (you should check it out, seriously!) I would like to thank Arts Council England for their support too.

So now to secure a few gallery spaces for Perfume as Practice in 2020…