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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Perfume as Practice continues at Surface Gallery until 18th November.
***Call out to artists – Why do you make art?***
My upcoming solo exhibition at Surface Gallery, Nottingham, will see me exhibit 20 perfumes. Each perfume will be a portrait of another artist, achieved through an established process that begins by asking artists the question ‘why do you make art?’ Then, through a method of intuition and investigation, I choose relevant and meaningful oils based on the answer received in order to create a fragrance that captures the essence of who you are.
What I need first and foremost though is 20 artists willing to provide a response to the question ‘why do you make art?’ So if you’re an artist (in any sense of the word) and are interested in the idea of encapsulating your persona in fragrance, then I’d love to hear from you with a response to the question ‘Why do you make art?’
The call out works on a first-come-first-served basis. But if I do already have 20 artists by the time you submit your response don’t worry – I’ll use it for one of my solo shows coming up in 2018.
Looking forward to reading your responses and getting to work creating wonderful fragrances!
Perfume as Practice will run at Surface Gallery from 3rd – 18th November 2017.
Nestled between three established perfume retailers, October will see me take up an artists’ residence in Orchard Square, Sheffield. Nominally a retail unit, my residency will hope to subvert preconceptions of fragrance, which is steeped in consumerism and profit. It will instead highlight the capacity perfume has for portraiture, and will offer an alternative function for fragrance, placing it as a potent means of communication.
Watch this space.
Tonight sees the opening evening of The Beast Within – a group exhibition that invites artists from Exchange Place Studios to create work towards the theme of The Beast Within.
As expected, the broad and highly interpretive nature of the theme has led to a very diverse exhibition that highlights the innovative, intriguing and progressive nature of Exchange Place Artists, and showcases some beautiful, high quality pieces. My personal effort is a scented narrative that re-assigns knowledge as a biblical myth – a beast in it’s own right.
The exhibition yet again re-affirms Exchange Place Studios as an emerging and intriguing venue for exhibitions. As a young space still attempting to find its place within the wider Sheffield art scene, it is advisable that exhibitions at Exchange Place are attached to other events. Last year’s exhibition – FLUX – was attached to Castlegate Festival and Sharon Mossbeck is looking to stage a cabinet exhibition that takes advantage of this years’ Halloween festivities. The Beast Within is no different, as it seeks to utilise the crowd associated with OpenUp Sheffield – an event that sees studios around Sheffield opened to the public. This means that anyone attending Open Up Sheffield over the next two weekends at Exchange Place will also be treated to an exhibition that perfectly highlights the talents of those in the building.
The Beast Within opens tonight from 7-9pm. Many of the artists will be on hand to talk about their work, or to just chat to! There’ll also be a free bar. I hope you can make it!