In the wake of climate change may we utilise perfumery as a means of preserving vulnerable botanical specimens, subverting our expectations of perfumery and re-positioning it as a tool for preservation in the process? That’s what my latest range of perfumes seek to discover:
The Society for Life After Soil takes the essential oils of botanical specimens deemed vulnerable and suspends them in a carrier. Preserving their essence so that, in a time of catastrophe, we will have preserved a value natural source. This range of perfumes suggests a new, unexpected utility for perfumery and highlights the capacity scent has for narrative and environmental concepts when placed on a contemporary art platform.
The Society for Life After Soil will debut at Botanicals – an exhibition of contemporary art based on the theme of botanics, to be Held at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield, from 6th – 27th July. A Private View of the exhibition will take place on 5th July, from 6-8pm. Hope to see you there.
My next Perfume as Practice solo exhibition opens at Asylum Gallery, Wolverhampton, on 15th June, with the Private view at 6-9pm. As you may know, I theme my Perfume as Practice exhibitions around specific themes. Doing so allows me to respond to spaces and place perfumery in different contexts, reveling the capacity scent has to accommodate contemporary art concepts. It also allows me to play with a fragrance industry convention of unveiling a themed or seasonal collection.
The theme for my Wolverhampton show is ‘Protest’, which has been a tricky subject to frame Perfume as Practice around. Initial thoughts revolved around historical uses of scent to as a means of controlling groups of people. However, this would place scent in a somewhat negative light, and if Perfume as Practice is about one thing, it’s about highlighting how perfume can unify and bolster creative communities when considered as an artform. With this in mind – and considering how protests bring people together in an act of unity – I decided to take the opportunity of utilising ‘protest’ to place perfumery in a positive light; revealing it’s capacity for community spirit, peace, empowerment and agency.
I’ve also used the exhibition as an opportunity to re-brand my image a little. You see, Perfume as Practice has always attempted to demystify the perfume making process; allowing it to be regarded not merely as a luxury commodity, but as a tool of expression that can give others a voice. Perfume is power, and I want to shout about it; as a Perfumer of the People.
You can find out more about by forthcoming Perfume as Practice Private View here. I hope to see you there.