This month marked the first time in two years that Perfume as Practice was side-lined in favour of another project. But, as Scents of Our Time gathered momentum in the form of a residency, Perfume as Practice wasn’t totally absent as it was taken to two art fairs; Walk of Art, Horsforth and Wakefield ArtTrail.
I generally find it hard to engage with audiences at art fairs as they tend to focus on finding something to buy (in my experience anyway). While there’s nothing wrong with this, it does rather negate the conceptual implications of my work and why I make it. That said, it is always nice talking to people, who always seem supportive even if they don’t ‘get it’ and a little extra cash from sales never hurt anyone.
In fact, seeing my work laid out in front of me does make me appreciate the sheer reach of the project. I’m not just dealing with portraiture, as often cited, but I’m also dealing with colour theory, with historical contexts, with sculpture, with astrology, with love and with the Greek Gods themselves. The act of laying out your work proves a useful exercise, even if just to see how far you’ve come.
Created during my residency at Orchard Square, Sheffield last September as a mere piece of mise en scène, I feel as though Poison Bible has not been afforded the attention it deserves as a stand alone piece of work as it’s a competent blend of visual and olfactory aesthetics that harnesses narrative, portraiture and religion:
Referencing the historical practice of hiding cabinets within books, Poison Bible‘s narrative suggests that the essence of any personality can be captured in perfume by utilising the introvert/extrovert continuum. It seeks to reveal the capacity scent has for narrative and portraiture, and this is reinforced and by historical and religious contexts.
From a conceptual point of view, it was intended as something of a speculative precursor to my perfume portraits: I wish to devise an alternative history of artistic practice that places scent as our primary mode of communication and Poison Bible is a rather more primitive method of devising perfume portraits in comparison to my stand-alone fragrances.
Safe to say it’s rather loaded with ideas, thoughts and concepts that warrants an audiences attention and a little time in the spotlight. That’s why it will be exhibited at ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ in Enköping, Sweden in August and September this year. With thanks to ArtMobile for the opportunity!