1 Comment

Although my forthcoming exhibition at Lumen Crypt Gallery will intrinsically involve scent, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a few visual treats along the way and over the next few weeks I will use this blog to showcase them. As ever the overarching aim is to position perfumery within the context of contemporary art. Not only is this achieved by placing perfume directly within gallery contexts, but also by using perfumery as the subject for more established disciplines, such as drawing:

Taking direct influence from Urania’s Mirror –  a set of star chart cards that illustrate the night sky – I have created a set of 6 ‘comprised constellations’ a set of drawings on blank playing cards that playfully position perfumery within the context of the astronomy. These cards will be exhibited at Lumen Crypt Gallery alongside 10 perfume portraits and other visual embellishments.  

Incidentally I am looking at exploring Urania’s Mirror further in a forthcoming exhibition, which will have an open call element. Watch this space! (no pun intended.)


0 Comments

My first solo show of the year – Perfume as Practice SS19 at Lumen Crypt Gallery, London – is inching ever closer; in a mere 6 weeks the exhibition will be up and running. So as you might expect February has largely consisted of exhibition preparation; writing and sending invites, research, press releases, flyer images, visiting and measuring the space and, somewhere in the midst of it all – actual work!

Perfume as Practice SS19 will consist of 10 perfume portraits and visual work responding to the theme of astronomy. As such each perfume will be based on a specific constellation, and adorned with appropriate livery constructed with simple, elegant line and shape:

Perfume and astronomy have more in common than you might think, as both have a certain ethereal, intangible quality that our minds do not fully understand. Perfume as Practice SS19 hypothesises that placing astronomy in a domestic context such as perfume, and placing perfume in a vast context such as astronomy will extend our understanding of both relative to personal thoughts and experiences. And of course, the chief aims of Perfume as Practice, which are to provide an alternative utility for perfume that confounds our preconceptions while revealing the capacity perfume has for contemporary art, will also be present and correct.

Perfume as Practice SS19 opens at Lumen Crypt Gallery on 4th April.


0 Comments

This week I have bid a fond farewell to Desire & Alchemy – my joint exhibition with Emilia Telese at Basement Arts Project.

I had grown somewhat attached to Desire & Alchemy during its 3 month run; more so than any other exhibition I have staged. I think this is because a tangible collaboration existed not only between myself and Emilia, but also with BasementArtsProject’s owner Bruce Davies: All three of us engaged the audience with the underlying concept, and through written text, conversation, exhibiting and hosting, we have each contributed meaningfully to the overall discourse surrounding scent within contemporary art.

 


0 Comments

It’s that time of year again! No, not the January blues; I am in fact talking about my twice-yearly undertaking of deciding on visual liveries for a new range of perfumes. My upcoming solo exhibition at Lumen Crypt Gallery will feature a range of perfumes housed under the theme of astronomy. As such I deem it pertinent to centre visual embellishments and liveries directly on the theme:

Currently, I am designing the visual embellishments of my upcoming show under two caveats – firstly, I don’t know the exact size, shape or nuances of the exhibition space (a fact that will be rectified in February) so I’m currently rather tentatively and rather broadly exploring the theme of astronomy in order to ascertain connections between it and perfumery. This generally centres on the mutually intangible quality of both space and fragrance, and the tension between the inherently domestic context of fragrance and the somewhat more expansive environment of astronomy.

Secondly, I strive to uncover ways of looking at astrology in a way that differs, or develops, my previous foray into the theme, which occurred during my solo show at Surface Gallery in November 2017:

My Surface Gallery show utilised constellations as a means of depicting connections between each perfume. Useful shorthand, for sure, but do I want to utilise the same aesthetic again, to the same end? Or should I strive to look deeper into the workings of astronomy in order to uncover something with more profanity?

I will decide on visual designs soon, but I don’t have all that long to dwell, as the opening of my show will be on 4th April 2019 at Lumen Crypt Gallery, London.


0 Comments

Looking back on my creative output over the last year, I’d have to conclude that I have had a relatively successful 2018 – I have delivered on my promise of staging two Perfume as Practice shows a year, immersed myself in the possibilities of candle making in contemporary art, and have reached new audiences both nationally and internationally. So I guess I can’t complain!

This year, I endeavoured to stage both Perfume as Practice shows outside Sheffield. This was an effort to extend my audience reach and introduce new sets of people to the artistic possibilities of perfumery. To that end, I have been successful, as my shows were staged at BasementArtsProject, Leeds, and Bureau Centre for the Arts, Blackburn. (In fact, you can still see my work at BasementArtsProject until the end of January!)

I wanted to see a tangible development in Perfume as Practice – both in terms of the quality of the perfumes made and audience expectation. This was achieved by placing Perfume as Practice in contexts and spaces previously untapped: My exhibition in Blackburn placed perfumery within the context of religion while my exhibition in Leeds was a joint show, placing Perfume as Practice alongside the work of artist Emilia Telese.

One of the failures of my 2017 was that I involved myself in too many group exhibitions, thus compromising the quality of my output. This has been rectified this year as I have carefully selected opportunities relevant to the development of my practice.

I also embarked on a new project; Scents of Our Time. This took the guise of a residency at Access Space and a solo show at Mugen Tea House. In hindsight, the process of using candle making to describe news stories is very immersive, and probably works best as a residency. I think the jury is still out on how an audience responds to it, but there is certainly a lot of potential in the idea and I will seek new opportunities to develop the idea in the new year.

I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in making my 2018 such a success and, actually, a very enjoyable year. I think I feel completely at ease with Perfume as Practice as an idea, and now just seek to hone it, push it in new directions and reach new audiences.

2019 promises to be rather exciting – it will see me stage my first solo show in London, embark on new Perfume as Practice shows in Wolverhampton and Bristol, and continue to stage events and workshops that provide an insight into my unique approach to perfume making and ways of utilising scent in art. Looking forward to it!


0 Comments