This October sees me take up an artists’ residence in orchard Square – a retail unit in Sheffield.
The residency will be open to the public, and as such it provides a means to develop my body of work and add a somewhat preformative element to proceedings as I assume the role of a psychiatrist-of-sorts; directly examining the thoughts, desires and processes of my visitors in order to create a perfume in situ that captures the essence of who they are.
A sense of authenticity will be key here; I have no formal training in either psychiatry or perfumery yet my perceived legitimacy within the space will validate the whole process, allowing it to appear believable and coherent. An open yet clinical environment should also be considered as, while I want to put visitors at ease, they’re also part of the process and an openness and honesty from them will allow for a richer, meaningful perfume to be created.
That’s not to say a sense of fun should not also enter the equation. I like the idea of incorporating the historical connections between scent and medicine into the space. This could also be something that reveals itself slowly to visitors by taking cues from cabinets of curiosities, pseudoscience and crypt-zoology. Perhaps this would act as a wry comment on my own vulnerable position as an artist assuming various vocational roles that are not my own.
Lots to think about then! For now, the process chiefly involves finding stuff in my studio that might be useful and putting it in a box. But it won’t be long now before the show begins.