Almost three weeks has past since Perfume as Practice – my exhibition at Bank Street Arts – closed. It’s been a reasonably quiet period, comprising chiefly of plotting further navigations into the world of perfumery. Something persistent from the exhibition that I keep mentally revisiting is the idea that, although Perfume as Practice was successful and very well received, I still feel as though I could improve it.
It’s just as well, seeing as it was the first time I outwardly projected my approach to perfumery. I know full well that the quality of the perfume, while ok, still lacked a degree of authenticity needed to propel the exhibition from an arts space to a speculative perfumery space. This is something I wanted to do as to engage a wider audience.
I wanted the exhibition to reveal itself as a fine art endeavour, while initially appearing as a perfume shop. I wanted to do this as to reassess the virtues of a shop space, how we experience and identify with consumer products and how we can disrupt this process. In reality, I think my audience simply entered the space knowing it was an art exhibition about perfume. Perhaps a different approach to marketing was required, along with better quality bottles. I suppose it doesn’t matter too much, though it is important to understand the failings of an exhibition if you are to progress.
And what of the idea of creating perfume portraits? Well, I feel slightly conflicted about it. You see, I tend to strive for new ideas without attempting to define and develop them. It almost feels counter-intuitive to persist with the idea of perfume portraits, as my mind is filled with other ideas I wish to explore.
Though persist I certainly will. I do feel rather buoyed about just how well the exhibition was received. The idea of making portraits from perfume is very accessible yet innovative, and this is still the case. Therefore it seems correct to continue creating perfume portraits and attempting to extend our knowledge of what scent, perfume and portraiture can be.
Perhaps – heaven forbid – I am displaying a little maturity with Perfume as Practice. 5 years ago, I would have flitted between ideas without attempting to refine, define or meaningfully develop. A more disciplined head is telling me that developing the idea of perfume portraits will engage a wide audience whilst still striving for innovative and exciting ways of making art.
Damien Fisher 50ml EDT
A reflective fragrance that champions personal contemplation and support as we attempt to realise our own sense of truth. A perfect scent for those moments where the simple act of stopping and thinking becomes pertinent.
The simple arrangement of scents allow the individual to place their own experiences upon this scent. The slight medicinal qualities of peppermint hint at medicinal support, may chang and patchouli promote a sense of strength and stability. Grapefruit promotes personal cleansing for those moments where you need to remove all distractions.
This fragrance was created by interpreting and investigating a response to the question ‘Why do you make art?’ If you are an artist (in the broadest sense of the word) I would love to her your response to the question too, as it will enable me to create a perfume portrait that captures the essence of your creative persona.
This perfume will be on display at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, from 2-18th March 2016. There will be a Private View on the 2nd March from 6-8pm. More details here
Taking ideas from artists and turning them into paint. Each paint is already primed with implications and preconceptions based on the artists’ ideas: This allows you to choose between using the paint as a raw medium, or exploiting the connotations found within the paint. The choice is yours.
Colour #4 – Cups Stacked on Top of Each Other
With unique texture and a bold, unashamed hue, ‘Cups Stacked On Top Of Each Other’ can always be relied upon. Whether depicting social interactions or moments of quiet reflection, this brutally rich paint seeks to make a statement.
ARTISTS – If you have an idea for a painting that, for one reason or another, never reached fruition, email email@example.com and I will allow your idea to be realised through the process of paint making.
Happy Independence Day to my American friends. According to my oh-so technical research North America makes up for 18% of visitors to my website, and that number is increasing. So thank you to all of you.
Right, arse kissing out of the way, my attention turns to the pressing matter of ‘what the hell have I been doing these last 6 months’. Well, lots of stuff, that’s what. But what ever became of the 14 projections I initiated at the start of the year, detailing what I wanted to achieve over the coming 12 months?
Well, as this Independence Day falls neatly between two artistic endeavours – with a co-curated exhibition about video game landscapes completed a week ago and a collaboration investigating Leviathan due next week – I believe now is an opportune moment to take a step back and reflect upon how the year is going. I present to you the fourteen aims I wrote at the beginning of the year, along with an account of how I’m doing with each of them. Let’s begin:
1. Produce a quality body of work. The first third of the year saw me extend my body of work and produce quality pieces. Though the piece I completed for the Jamestown exhibition took my paint making to a logical conclusion. A period of evaluation, reflection and re-assessment as since occurred, but an upcoming exhibition in Liverpool provides me with a suitable creative catalyst.
2. Sell my paints. I’ve sold one! That’s seven quid in the back pocket. My aforementioned period of reflection highlights a desire to place paint-making on the back burner for now.
3. Go to more exhibitions. Well, it’s the summer, and the Liverpool Biennial has just started, so I predict a fair few exhibitions will be attended over the coming months.
4. Go to more restaurants. Best get started on this one.
5. Carry out my upcoming exhibitions with success. Well I’ve certainly learned a lot with this one. Solo exhibitions are difficult to manage and promote, as you find yourself working in isolation. My group exhibition in Jamestown was received well, yet my personal contribution saw my practice become a little too predictable for comfort. Yet I needed to exhibit what I exhibited to arrive at that conclusion. Overall I’m happy.
6. Look for opportunities. Something I’ve discovered at the beginning of the year is the ability to make my own opportunities, rather than seek them out. This culminated coherently with ‘Far Lands’ – An exhibition only possible due to my initial contact with an artist whom I was intrigued by.
7. Become better at networking. This is something currently in bloom. I find it much easier to converse away from online networking than I did a year previous. There has been no substitute for hands-on experience.
8. Do more workshops. Best get started on this one too.
9. Make a book. Well, I’ve done a zine based on mouldy cheese. That’s a start I suppose.
10. Link my practice to a strand of the local community. I’m in talks with a few schools at the moment. We’ll see what comes of that.
11. Improve my website. Well, I have two now, in an attempt to distinguish food-based endeavours from video game endeavours. I will see how I get on with this, though it may be that I’ll just have one and attempt to make both disciplines gel.
12. Hire a venue for a call for submission. Done! With a very special thank you to Access Space for being able to hold my open-call regarding video games in October.
13. Find relevant part-time work. Still looking.
14. Make money. Last year I made £90 in total. This year so far I’ve made £32. Well, nobody said it would be easy.
As a conclusion of sorts, I’d say that I’m currently in a transitional state. Wanting to remove myself to an extent from food – as a concept – and place myself in a position whereby I can produce a body of work informed by video games that is, in turn, informed by the knowledge gained from my paint-making endeavours.
The principles of paint making will still exist within my practice – that of deconstruction, challenging what can be regarded as art, and extracting something and placing it in a different context in order for it to transcend any limitations. Indeed, my work may still manifest itself as paint, or medium, or tools, as I seek further investigation into how art can be de-constructed and presented. But for now a large part of my above list is redundant, as it has not accounted for any video game developments.
Such a transitional state leaves me unsure of exactly how my practice will emerge. But a multitude of upcoming exhibition opportunities and an exciting new studio move puts me in a great position to investigate, develop and play. It’s already safe to declare 2014 a success.
I love to criticise and bitch. It fills part of my moral conscious probably technically reserved for, I don’t know, being able to tolerate children. Problems with this, however, arise when reflecting upon my own practice: I am never fully satisfied with my work because I always seek to criticise my rate of conceptual progression. Upon completing a piece of work, the first thoughts that enter my mind are ‘well, ok, I’ve done that, what can I do now to further the idea? What’s next?’
I now find myself unsatisfied with simply making paints, and one direction I have been attracted to is the idea of converting the paint I have made back into food. This will add a substantial sense of narrative to my work, and highlight that, although food is able to transcend its original purpose, it also remains true to itself: It exists in a state of being between something old and something new.
‘Paint, Then Jam, Then Paint Again’
I see this as a fairly natural progression from the processes and connotations involved in making paint out of food, and there is something curiously indefinite about the whole process: I could spend the rest of my days concerning myself with converting food into paint, then back into food, then back into paint, then into food again until my blood vessels surrender and explode. But because I know that I can do this, there is no point, as professional development would become compromised and new, more engaging directions would not flourish.
So, what’s next?