Posts Tagged ‘multi-sensory art form’

Ok.. the opportunity to get the word out here on my blog about my ongoing series called ‘sense’ at BMoCA (Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art) has come and I am seizing it!  I started this work in January and one thing or another always came up to interrupt me when attempting to write and post about it.  Not this time.  *TONIGHT at 8 pm I will again be doing a ‘sense’ presentation*, working with and interpreting another artist’s show; this time it’s called W3FI (pronounced WEE-FY) and it’s part of an installation called the Biodome project.  The W3FI installation speaks to the interconnectedness we all now experience as we interact on the internet.  The internet in its more mature stages is now a place that what you say and do have consequences and we all have a responsibility to do right in this new global community.  The concept of ‘persona’ is an underlying element of the project and this is where I will be coming into the mix and talking about how scent has always been used to communicate persona and how we do and can consciously use it in the modern world.  It’s going to be exciting.  And I am excited to be talking about this *BEFORE* the actual event, even if it is tonight.  So, if any of you are going to be in Boulder tonight, please come to BMoCA and experience scent in a new way and in relation to the W3FI / Biodome Project.

Now, this also brings me to another great pleasure, which is to start publishing posts I write months ago when I did my first sense talk and then my second.  These were more direct ‘multi-sensory’ art interpretations, so less conceptual and intellectual, of visual art into aroma.  Below is a 2/3 finished piece but it will have to stand as it is, since it’s been too long since the event for me to finish that line of thought.  I hope you will bear with me and still find it an interesting read.  I dated some of the passages so you would be aware of what was written in January, 2011 , April, 2011 and my little tidbits added now.  Enjoy~


sense at BMoCA 1:

{4:2011} If I was really on top of everything in my world I would probably have written posts about my events at BMoCA (Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art) *before* they happened…but as life is easily running wild around us and time seems to be no different, I’m instead reporting about these magical evenings instead of promoting them ahead of time. And, since there’s so much juiciness to the ‘sense’ events, I’m making two posts. I’m looking forward to a potential third this summer. There’s been talk of it but we’ll have to see.

Kiki by Stephen Batura, 2010

{1:2011} : “Experience Stephen Batura’s work in a whole new way – through your sense of smell. Renowned perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s scent interpretations of Batura’s paintings bring a whole new dimension to the exhibition while exploring the realm of scent as art.” (excerpt from BMoCA Calendar)

Although it was a cold and dark evening in January, about a dozen intrepid art enthusiasts made it to BMoCA to hear me talk about creating aroma as art (in it’s conception; construction and use to express ‘the muse’ that can show up as a painting, sculpture, music, movement / dance or as a scent). It was wonderful to describe the construction of scent as architectural (the base is the foundation, the middle notes or heart as the rooms and walls that create the space to move within and the topnotes as the roof, or the part of the structure that moves upward, touches the sky and finishes the shape) and to speak to the correlation and associations of aroma to color, shape, line, juxtaposition and texture.

Being synesthetic, to sense these artistic criteria in scent comes easily to me and I am always intrigued to find out how many others have the same sensibility (or not). It’s also incredible to introduce these very new concepts to people when referencing art as many have never conceived of aroma design as on par with or similar in anyway with painting and sculpture in particular.

Prospero by Stephen Batura, 2010

So, for the talk I started with the basics: top, middle and base notes. As we smelled our way through the selected raw materials that I brought to illustrate the concepts: Virginia cedarwood as texturally soft but dusty, sheer but dense and color wise, a wash of alizarin crimson; oakmoss absolute 5% dilute has an earthy, velvety texture with a black-ish – green hue (well, green oakmoss does…brown oakmoss is another story); bergamot has a zesty, sparkling and “popping” texture like sparklers are in fireworks with a cool, light bluish green wash of color and a pale yellow undertone; black pepper has a thin, black linear quality and a subtle texture as anything peppery will, but it is smoother than you might expect; and Siam benzoin has a lovely rusty-golden ‘hue’ with a lush velvety texture that can be a bit sticky when undiluted but just like pure silk velvet when diluted to about 10%.

{7:2011}   Sadly, I stopped here and I am not exactly sure how to finish this post properly now that it is 6 months later…   I will say that samples of these art project perfumes will be available on the new site as soon as that gets finished, too.  But that is a whole other project.

{1:2011}  The good news is that immediately after this first sense evening, I was invited back to work with the museum again to interpret and create ‘aroma sculptures’ for Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira’s work. * see sense at bmoca 2 (coming up next).


image credits: bmoca link for info on the w3fi installation here 

bmoca link to the batura show – for propsero here

denver post link – for kiki here


Read Full Post »

What an incredible experience!  Having the opportunity to not only present your artistic vision but to present a new concept in a venue like Naropa University is indescribably wonderful.  This new art is like having two of my previously separate worlds unite to create a whole new universe.  I am a little turned around by it and at the same time thrilled beyond all measure.  A HUGE thanks to everyone who came to the reception!  So many of my friends and colleagues are from far away places so I am posting a bit of a virtual show for you.

Here is MaryPat Cullen, gallery director, affixing the title to the wall.  This is just my second solo exhibition, so I haven’t become jaded with seeing the title go up. 🙂

This show is filled with new works on paper and on canvas, done in mixed media: acrylic / metal leaf and interference pigments.  Interference pigments, in case you don’t know what those are, are dry pigments that come in different hues and you can use them dry or add them to paint / medium to create pearlescence, iridescence, and metallic / shimmer tones.  I apply them to the surface of the painting to create texture and space as well as an interesting juxtaposition with the metal leaf.  When creating paintings that are meant to express similar states as perfumes, or at least speak to the world of ‘essence’, I find the shimmering and the tactile as well as pure hues translate to the depth of emotion I am hoping to reach.  The metallics really do something for me.  (Maybe it’s all those years of doing egg tempera with gilding that I am still in love with color / metal).

Elemental Fire: Vermillion + scent ; Mercurial Nature + scent

Not all the images have an olfactory sculpture (these are in the bottles hanging to the right of the paintings, so you can interact with the scent or not, depending on preferences) but these two that ‘open’ the show do.  “Elemental Fire: Vermillion”‘s aroma is composed of DSH Fire Opal, DSH Poivre, Saffron, Black Pepper, Pimento Berry, and Amber and “Mercurial Nature”‘s aroma is: DSH Aroma color Viridian, Violet Leaf, Sandalwood, Green Oakmoss, Frankincense, and Ambergris.

Floating (triptych)

This group (above) doesn’t have a scent pairing.

Aether; Sunny Yellow + scent

I really love these two together.  “Aether” is a bit too elusive to conceive of an essence for it, although I may at some point consider it.

Sunny Yellow

“Sunny Yellow” is actually a painting based on the scent.  I strengthened the aroma for this show to make it a bit fuller: Yuzu, Petitgrain, Blood Orange, Neroli, Meyer Lemon, and Sandalwood.

Butterflies (Transformation) + scent; series 3: Earth • Fire • Sky (triptych)

These paintings are much smaller and very intimate.  I especially love the series 3 paintings.  I still haven’t taken photos of these images directly, but I really love  how the pigment application turned out.  As  you might imagine, handling dry pigment is a bit tricky and there is a sense of the unknown in terms of what will happen when you apply it.  It’s one of those great process things that you can somewhat anticipate what will come out but you can never be too sure.  The element of surprise is part of the joy.  I will be sure to take more direct, detailed images of these and post them.

Butterflies (Transformation)

The “Butterflies (Transformation)” piece was very immediate when I painted it.  The sense of action and transparency is something that also really attracts me.  (You know, with abstraction I never really know what I am doing.  It’s not at all like creating representational work where you know what things look like;  you make decisions as the artist as to what you will record, what you will change, what you will omit or add and what it should all ‘do’ in the image.  Abstraction for me is just about what I continue to want to look at; what compels me.  It’s just so different.)  Anyway, the scent sculpture is just as lovely and immediate for me with Red Mandarin, Green Tea, Grandiflorum Jasmine, Mango, Lemon, Sandalwood, Musk, and Lime Peel.

I fear that this post is getting a little long so I will stop for now.  There’s one more section of the show to come but we’ll explore this next time.  For now, I hope that you enjoy the images and the descriptions.  Oh yes, these aromas will be up on the site soon in a new collection…but that is for another day as well. I am wishing you a day filled with beauty.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: