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

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Making in May

May has been a rather busy and productive month, as no doubt evidenced by my distinct lack of blogging. In between making perfumes for exhibitions, running workshops and playing with audio/visual equipment I’ve seldom had the time to sit, think and reflect. But guess what? Now is that time. So let’s have it.

The beginning of May saw me stage a group exhibition with arts collective Oracles, who focus of themes of loss, history and religion. The exhibition was staged at Halifax Minster, and was entitled ‘And …Forgive Us Our Trespasses’. It looked at the Seven Deadly Sins, with each artist choosing a sin each to respond to. Given the somewhat alluring connotations associated with perfume, the sin I chose was lust. My work, entitled ‘Seven Keys’ sought to tread the line between love and lust:

My work adhered to a simple premise; 7 perfumes are presented, six depicting lust and one depicting lust. The perfumes depicting lust contained synthetic ingredients, referencing the superficial, material workings of lust on the brain. The perfume depicting love housed only natural ingredients, referencing the inherent ‘realness’ of love, which can be subtle, quiet, but no less potent.

I believe this simple premise worked, allowing the audience to comprehend the artistic capabilities of scent design and it’s ability to house concepts and narratives, such as the Seven Deadly Sins. Conversations with the audience revolved around how I’d been able to harness the craft of perfumery for contemporary art ends, and how their expectations were somewhat confounded. This is always my aim, and to hear it relayed back to you is very gratifying.

Creative endeavours throughout the rest of May have centred on something not altogether connected with perfume. Rather, it has seen me create a short, somewhat irreverent film revealing the creative concerns of artists working in Sheffield. The film is imaginatively titled ‘Michael Borkowsky’s Art Thing’ though perhaps a more pertinent title would be ‘I Don’t Really Know What I’m Doing’. After all, this is the first time I have entered the realm of filmmaking and, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that editing is the hardest thing in the world.

Still, creating such a piece of work has provided the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people, such as Sean Maddison-Brown, who helped me present a segment of the film:

(Photo Credit – Vanitas Arts) 

I’m looking forward to the end result, and to making new films in the future. I will certainly streamline the process though. Can’t have my perfume based larks playing second-fiddle; Especially when an upcoming solo exhibition in Wolverhampton at Asylum Gallery looms.

Crowdfunding Projects – Three of the Best

As my own crowdfunding campaign reaches its final few days I begin to reflect on the projects that have caught my eye over the last month. In the spirit of sharing and reinforcing a sense of support that crowdfunding offers, I present to you three projects that are currently live and that I believe are well worth supporting:

Save 162-170 Devonshire Street, Sheffield

A project quite close to my heart, this. I have only been living in Sheffield for 2 years, and Devonshire Street was the first area that I felt connected to. There was something about it what made me feel a part of something. It is vibrant, unique and has a true sense of community. I believe that demolishing 162-170 Devonshire Street will greatly dilute that sense of community, as well as part of Sheffield’s history and heritage. It’s definitely worth fighting for. You can find out more here.

ODOU – Smell and Perfume Magazine

A project that bears parallels to my own, ODOU is a magazine dedicated to the sense of smell. ODOU seeks to explore scent, what scent means and ways in which scent can be understood. Designed and written with an obvious passion for the subject, ODOU might just alter, awaken, bolster or challenge your perception of scent. You can find out more here. 

Yooka-Laylee – a 3D Platform Rare-vivial!

If you’re as big a fan as 3D platforming as I am then I highly recommend taking a look at Yooka-Laylee. The team behind Banjo-Kazooie is looking to re-capture the spirit, fun and charm of 3D platforming whilst also seeking to introduce new elements. Beautiful, immersive and colourful, Yooka-Laylee looks set to be an instant classic. You can find out more here. 

…So there we are: Three completely different projects, each celebrating the diversity of crowdfunding and how crowdfunding campaigns can provide an inclusive and nurturing platform for dynamic and engaging projects. I highly recommend you take a look at all three projects. And while you’re at it, I suppose you might as well take a look at my crowdfunding campaign too?! There’s only a few days left, after all! Take a look at: …thank you 🙂