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Posts tagged “portraits

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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Perfume Portrait #75 – Aimee Ellen

Aimee Ellen 50ml EDT

Head – Sweet Orange

Heart – Juniper Berry

Body – Frankincense

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Description – The fragrance opens with inviting citrus notes before revealing oils synonymous with harmony and peace – agent to purity.

This perfume is one of fifteen housed at Bureau, Blackburn from 12th – 26th April as part of my solo exhibition, Perfume as Practice.


Perfume Portrait #74 – Jackie Berridge

Jackie Berridge 50ml EDT

Head –  Lemon

Heart – Geranium

Body – Rosewood, Ylang Ylang

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Description – A childhood sense of wonder heads this fragrance and is referenced by the playfulness of lemon. From there the fragrance reveals blooming flowers and majestic trees; a testament to how childhood informs creativity and how embracing and nurturing innate passions allow them to bloom and grow.

This perfume is one of fifteen housed at Bureau, Blackburn from 12th – 26th April as part of my solo exhibition, Perfume as Practice.


Perfume Portrait #70 – Dave Akehurst

Dave Akehurst 50ml EDT                                               

Head – Basil, peppermint

Heart – Cypress, ginger

Body – Cedarwood

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Description – A fresh, earthy composition that chooses fragrances for the balancing and cleansing of the throat, and as such metaphorically symbolising communication and sharing.  Ginger also emits a fiery kick that expresses a certain individuality. Cedarwood for the immune system.

This perfume is one of fifteen housed at Bureau, Blackburn from 12th – 26th April as part of my solo exhibition, Perfume as Practice.


Perfume as Practice at Bureau, Blackburn

Perfume as Practice SS18 – my 5th solo show about perfume and it’s capacity for portraiture, is now open at Bureau Centre for the Arts, Blackburn.

The exhibition houses 15 perfume portraits, which will each be documented on this website in the coming weeks. It also houses visual material and other scented experiences that enhance and contextualise the perfumes on display. In the spirit of devising themed collections, Perfume as Practice draws upon saints in order to categorise, establish and assess the reasons why artists make art.

If you want to find out more, why not pop along! It will be open Tuesdays-Saturdays 10am-4pm from now until 26th April.


Perfume Portrait #48 – Red

Red 50ml EDT20171103_202809

Head – Grapefruit, tea Tree

Heart – Coriander Seed

Body – Frankincense

Description – This fragrance harnesses medicinal tendencies while asserting a compulsion to create. Give this fragrance time and you will discover its hidden depth.

This fragrance was housed at Surface gallery, Nottingham, from 3rd – 18th November.


Perfume Portrait #47 – Chris Oliver

Chris Oliver 50ml EDT20171103_202910

Head – Grapefruit, Tangerine

Heart – Lavender

Body – Clove Bud, Myrrh

Description – Drawing cues from travel, this fragrance provides you with all the apparatus you need for the road ahead.

This perfume was exhibited at Surface Gallery, Nottingham, from 3rd – 18th November 2017


Perfume Portrait #46 – Stacey Warner

Stacey Warner 50ml EDT 20171103_202923

Head – Elemi, Tangerine

Heart – Lavender

Body – Vetivert

Description – A picture of stillness, this fragrance is a quietly compassionate tonic that promotes inner peace and lifts the spirits

The fragrance was housed at Surface Gallery, Nottingham, from 3rd – 18th November 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Perfume Portrait #44 – Rachel Zan

Rachel Zan 50ml EDT20171103_202731

Head – Lemon, Mandarin

Heart – Ho Leaf

Body – Rosewood, Benzoin

Description – Symbolic of a fruit tree, this fragrance is wholly joyous and describes the rich pickings life offers.

This perfume was displayed at Surface Gallery, Nottingham, from 3rd – 18th November 2017.


Perfume as Practice at Surface Gallery

This November saw me open my 4th Perfume as Practice solo show – and the first one to be ran outside Sheffield. Perfume as Practice AW17 opened at Surface Gallery, Nottingham, on the 3rd November and runs until the 18th.

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This particular incarnation comprises 20 perfume portraits and 5 painted representations of constellations. I have chosen ‘Constellations’ as an overarching theme because it occurred to me that there are parallels between space and fragrance – both are mysterious, intangible and difficult to fully describe. So I deduced that placing them beside each other might extend our knowledge and relationship with both. 

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Once again, the exhibition has been well received, with my innovative approach to perfumery cited as a key point of intrigue. It’s been fun exhibiting in a city that has no pre-conceptions of my work, and it’s encouraged a deeper consideration of how fragrance can exist in a space relative to an overarching theme. I certainly think that the visual elements of the exhibition fully compliment the fragrances.

The fragrances, as ever, are achieved through a process that begins by asking artists the question ‘why do you make art?’ Then, through a established method of interpretation and investigation, relevant and meaningful fragrance are combined in order to achieve a perfume that captures the essence of each artist. It’s a process that is becoming increasingly honed, and the simple act undergoing this process for almost 3 years has developed my skills as a fine art perfumer. As such, I can appreciate the relative coherence of my my recent perfumes. Though hopefully this process will just see me continuously improve.

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Perfume as Practice continues at Surface Gallery until 18th November.