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This July arts initiative Fronteer – which I co-founded and co-run with artist Sharon Mossbeck –  are staging an exhibition at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield.

The exhibition is entitled Botanicals and features art pertaining to the theme of botanics, all selected by Fronteer. The exhibition showcases an array of artistic disciplines, styles and concepts from artists both across the UK and internationally and is sponsored in-kind by Sheffield-based florist Campbell’s Flowers, who have designed a contemporary floral display within the exhibition.

Not content with devising, organising and curating the exhibition alongside Sharon, I am also exhibiting in it. Moreover, I am using the exhibition as an opportunity to consider a new, unexpected utility for perfumery that lies beyond our preconceptions – that of it’s potential to preserve botanical specimens.

The piece I have made for the exhibition – entitled The Society of Life After Soil – presents 12 fragrances, each of them takes a vulnerable botanical specimen and suspends them in an oil carrier: Preserving them and protecting them from the environmental and humanitarian concerns they are otherwise facing, such as climate change, over-consumption and illegal trade.

My piece seeks to highlight the capacity perfumery has to comment on environmental issues and as such, reveals it’s potential as an artform; in line with the likes of painting and sculpture.

Utilising perfumery in this way is an avenue I have not yet explored as previous perfume making pursuits have revolved around portraiture. Quite apart from the personal nature of portraiture, this piece touches on contemporary environmental concerns and I am keen to take the idea to relevant yet unexplored territories, such as botanical gardens, to see how such a context alters the audiences response to my work.

In the meantime though, Botanicals is open at Exchange Place Studios until 27th July.


June 2019 marked the 9th incarnation of Perfume as Practice, which was staged at Asylum Gallery, Wolverhampton. The exhibition comprised of 12 perfume portraits and 5 paintings, themed under the idea of protest. The exhibition also represented a milestone for the project as a whole, as it housed the 100th perfume portrait I have created since the project’s conception in late 2015.

The 100th perfume portrait was of artist Hannah Taylor. Here it is presented next to the very first perfume portrait I created, of artist Lee Green:

I take Lee’s perfume around with me; showcasing it at workshops as an example of my perfume making process. Hannah’s perfume has been left with her at Asylum Gallery as she is the co-director of the space. The painted livery adorned on Lee’s perfume has gone through numerous repairs as it has chipped, cracked and flaked off. It could probably use a new lick of paint at the moment actually.

Lee’s perfume utilised herbal and oriental notes in an effort to create a gender neutral fragrance, pertaining to the idea of how art can debunk gender stereotypes. Hannah’s perfume used clean, fresh notes to mask deep, bodily undertones, and considered how both fragrance and art can be used as a vehicle to mask and unmask identity.

Curiously then, both perfumes are rather conceptual and attempt to exploit our preconceptions of perfume in order to house portraiture.

Anyway, onto the next 100!