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

Posts tagged “Greece

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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Zeus 50ml EDT

Zeus

Head – Elemi, Lime, Cotton

Heart – Black Pepper, Ginger

Body – Patchouli, Cumin Seed

Full of unwavering energy; the initial blast of lime, compounded dry the earthy readiness of patchouli and the potency of cumin seed describes the electric effects of thunder and lightning. This is offset by the woody accord of Elemi, referencing Zeus’ hidden childhood suspended from a tree. Black Pepper and Ginger forms a heart shared with Kronos and Ouranos; referencing family connections. Cotton, alludes to Zeus’s overseeing of the sky.

This fragrance is on display during Platforms Project 2018 at Athens School of Fine Arts.

 

 


Kronos 50ml EDT

Kronos

Head – Dill Seed, Lemongrass, Basil

Heart – Black Pepper, Ginger

Body – Patchouli, Myrrh

Description – Titan of the harvest; Dill seed, lemongrass and patchouli describe a plentiful abundance of produce. Basil references the confidence needed to instigate the battle with Ouranos. 5 drops of myrrh reference the 5 children he ate, while it’s heavy, lingering quality also alludes to the personification of time. Black Pepper and Ginger forms a heart shared with Ouranos; referencing family connections.

 

This fragrance is on display during Platforms Project 2018 at Athens School of Fine Arts.

 


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.


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)


Road to Athens #1 – The Journey

This Friday I embark, with other members of Soup Collective International (SCI), on a journey to Greece to be part of Platforms Project – a 5 day art fair in Athens.

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Platforms Project will be a great opportunity to meet other artists, network, exchange knowledge and perhaps initiate collaborations on an international level. As such, I have ensured a great deal of care and consideration has been afforded to the making of the work I am taking – from concept to execution. Moreover, this is one of only a few arts events this year where my involvement in the overall organisation and running of it is minimal. This has afforded me time to ensure the aesthetics of my work are of high quality – a luxury I can’t always afford!

The work itself references my core creative concerns – chiefly that of utilising scent as a primary means of engagement and perfume as a viable art medium. It details a speculative Grand Tour of Europe that could be embarked on as a means to experience different fragrances. These fragrances are then encapsulated within 6 different ‘artefacts’ and placed on display revealed, experienced and assessed in relation to prior knowledge and cultural appropriation.

It intends to reveal the capacity scent has for metaphor, myth, history and narrative, and highlights how the experience of scent may alter and shift depending on any given location and its associated culture and heritage.

This piece was made specifically for Platforms Project and comprises of 6 different artefacts, which will all be teased online before the piece as a whole is revealed in Athens on Saturday. I can’t wait!


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!