January always feels like a rather difficult month to instigate and artistic action. The excesses of Christmas last longer than they should; the cold winter air quells any motivation and then there’s the small matter of completing a tax return…
Luckily then, I have been able to take part in a group exhibition without hardly having to lift a finger, all thanks to no less an institution that the University of Chester – the university I graduated at in 2007.
Nice to See You to See You Nice is a group exhibition featuring work from staff, students and alumni from the University of Chester, and is housed at CASC – a fantastic contemporary space in the heart of Chester set up by the University.
My work – Seven Keys – is nestled between over 70 other artists, makers and designers each connected to Chester University. It’s great how the exhibition acts as such a social platform; the opening evening on Friday 24th January was a hive of conversations between Chester University affiliates, each brought together through artistic practice. Perhaps the exhibition will reaffirm some friendships, encourage collaborations or instigate further creative endeavour.
Seven Keys is a series of perfumes about love and lust. Presented are 7 perfumes; only one is a concoction of natural ingredients which represent the virtues of love. The rest comprise of synthetic oils and represent lust.
Seven Keys is a great introduction to the possibilities of perfumery – highlighting that with careful scent design perfume can house narrative and symbolism. The theme also lends itself to valentine’s Day, which is useful as Nice to See You to See You Nice runs until 12th March. The opening hours are Mondays – Tuesdays 10-4; Fridays 12 – 6; Saturdays 10 – 4.
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.
Evans’s Ferry is a Digitally manipulated photograph.
Evans’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.
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.
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.
Culatto’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.
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.
Higham’s painting Horizon is concerned with the materials and processes of landscape; both natural and fabricated.
Higham’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.
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.
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.
Williams’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.
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.
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.
Martin’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.
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.
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.
Lady M’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.
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.
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.
Lambie’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.
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.
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.
Mossbeck’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.