You can see my Steller version HERE
You can see the Steller Story version HERE
Each year at my Artist’s Open House in Brighton I create an installation in my shed/studio…themes over the years have included Shipwrecks, Pioneer’s Cabin, Nesting, Frozen in Time and the White Shed.
Earlier this year when I was working on the #myStJames project I visited Floris in Jermyn St, London; the oldest perfumers in the country, and I was absolutely fascinated with how a perfumer almost seems to paint with scent. ( you can read an earlier post about it here )
It made me become incredibly preoccupied with scents and memories which is why I decided I wanted to crete a space where people could almost smell their past and to ‘dress’ the shed with a feeling of nostalgia and personal history; something smell and scent gives immediate access to.
When I told Floris what I was going to do they kindly provided me with lots of scent samples which I was then able to subtly place within drawers, boxes, tins, jars and even a couple of handbags and a book; sometimes on their own and sometimes combined with other elements…I was also so chuffed when Susan Beech from A Petal Unfolds agreed to let me include some of her incredible paper flowers and Cable and Cotton gave me extra lights for the ceiling.
Also as a synaesthetic artist I often paint smell ( and taste ) and so also included within the installation some paintings which depict scent. When I was little my mum put a scented sheet of purple paper into a drawer in the spare room…I used to go in on a rainy day just to open it and take in that smell.
I can still recall it; not in a very tangible way, but more like recalling a dream; one of those you never forget…
As an abstract painter I enjoy emotional responses rather than representative, and was completely taken by surprise when I found myself weeping at the scent of ‘Iris’ having emotionally revisited one of the happiest times and places of my life 30 years ago, for a matter of seconds.( the handbag above contains ‘ Madonna of the Almonds’ by Floris as well as a dusting of talc, the small top box contains ‘ 1962’ scent by Floris and the glass jar contains ‘Lily of the Valley’ by Floris )
( the binoculars case below contains Scent ‘No. 127’ by Floris, blended in the 1800’s. It’s one of my favourites because it is like directly smelling history ) ( drawer above contains ‘Palm Springs’ scent by Floris ) ( drawer above contains ‘Cerifo’ scent by Floris ) ( drawer above contains ‘Edwardian Bouquet’ scent by Floris ) ( drawer above contains ‘Honey Oud’ scent by Floris ) ( bag above contains ‘Mahon Leather’ scent by Floris ) ( above is some of my mother’s old cream from the 1970’s and a box with pencil shavings inside ) ( drawer above contains ‘1988’ scent by Floris ) ( lilies and a painting of their scent behind )There are 75 smells in the shed which you can experience in boxes, jars and drawers ( anything containing a smell has a little round sticker on unless it’s a plant ).
You can pick and choose and let the smells take you back to places you’d forgotten or never even thought about.
The identity of the smell itself shouldn’t be important; it’s where it takes you in your memory which should be savoured.
So far people have had some incredible responses and everyone has come out telling me stories of smells from their childhood or past…some of my favorites so far have been:
‘I’ve just smelt a ghost’
‘That smells like an old lady’s chair’
‘Oh my God, that’s the school soap!’
‘I’ve just visited my Grandpa’s front room’
( tin above contains ‘White Rose’ scent by Floris )( incredible hand made paper flowers inside a drawer with the scent of Floris’s ‘Edwardian Bouquet’ from A Petal Unfolds )
I’ve also included some smells which are not so nice…not many, but I wanted people to experience a range, so if you visit, beware of this tin…it contains asafoetida!!There’s nothing quite like opening a drawer or a box which not only has some interesting bits and pieces inside but which also has a specific scent…I have absolutely loved putting this installation together and I think it is only the start of a new phase for me of working artistically with smell!You can visit the Open House and experience The Scented Shed, in Brighton during the last 3 weekends of November 11am – 5pm, and you can follow the accounts @64sandgate on Instagram and Facebook for more details
Ever since I was little, I’ve always found Autumn really busy, beautiful and exciting; it’s almost like there’s too much to fit in!
…Anyway here’s the catch up!
My new calendars are in my shop here, and if you use the checkout code: 5FTINFAUTUMNALORDER you’ll receive a 10% discount.
You can see the Steller Story of this post here
You can see the Steller app version here
I’m always inspired by textures, and love the juxtaposition of flowers against a naturally rough patina…most of the images are from today and the last week, although it prompted me to look back at, and include some others from over the last year…( aslo see if you can spot my Karl Blossfeldt inspired image )
See the Steller Story version here
…and also a bit of Super 8
You can see the Steller Story version here
Sometimes abstract textures are all that my head wants…they’re simple, and for me very connected to feelings; looking at texture compositions is like an emotional injection rather than a slow release tablet…I’m inspired hugely by texture and strive to incorporate elements of my collected textures within my paintings…( I have another instagram account @outsidesense which is purely texture and more like my photographic sketchbook for my paintings )
You can see the Steller Story version here
For a while now I’ve been playing around with movement within a still image…I had been inspired by an absolutely incredible Instagram account @ncour where he combines collage and extraordinary movement.
I’ve always been a massive collage fan and whenever I have a bit of a creative block, collage always helps as the images always dictate the composition, rather than relying on an initial idea from me…and they are invariably funny and slightly suggestive so I usually end up being really silly with them which helps…as you can see below!
I also saw this post here on the @lockhatters Instagram account, which I completely fell in love with.
So…I endeavoured to find a way of working to create moving stills…
I spent days and hours googling and testing and trying to find ways of making it work which was really hardcore computer slog. I was surprised that there didn’t actually seem to be an app out there which was exactly what I wanted…it seemed like complicated photoshop methods on YouTube were the only way I was going to achieve what was in my head, and I’m not that skilled in photoshop and don’t have the time to spend going on a course, ( although it is tempting when you have visual ambitions! ).
Then when I fiddled around with a very simple app I found, I felt like I had found some sort of magic; like a ceramicist who’d suddenly developed a unique glaze…hence my ‘magic circle’ type silence on the situation!
But I’ve been asked such a lot now about how I create them, that it sort of feels churlish not to share some of what I’ve found, and with the rise of ‘Stories’ on Instagram, I’m enjoying the shake up it’s rattled inside me, and has reminded me that Instagram has always been my virtual art class where I started, early on, with some really wonderful and inspiring visual voices; to name just a few @famapa, @kbasta @sandrajuto @elf_girl @passeggiatayu @msuze @pardalote and @piccolotakesall…these were my class mates in the early days. @kbasta for example was one of the original single tree photographers on IG and always seems to combine a Mark Rothko-esque composition within beautiful natural contexts from Chicago, @passeggiatayu was one of the people who opened the door to Japanese photographic aesthetics, @famapa just has the best and unobtrusive contemporary eye on everyday life and @sandrajuto has always seemed to me to quite simply be the template for every creative lifestyle account I see.
What I would say is that being inspired is always a double edged sword…it invites a degree of plagiarism which is often quite frustrating and difficult to handle, but which, in this digital and always ‘positive’ virtual world, we must process silently…the world of image and idea sharing opens you up to all this and when those big brands do it to small designers it always makes me feel sick…and I think the only way to combat it in a creative way is to keep moving creatively, keep looking and discovering and as soon as you feel like you’ve ‘got it’, move on, even in tiny steps ( this is advice to myself as well by the way! ), so what I would say, is take some of my still movement tips here but play around loads with it; make it your own…make it unique!
I’ve never been very good with hashtags but I thought maybe I could for this so we can all share the ‘art class’ and feel like we’re all connected…so I thought perhaps #gentlemoving_stillness could work, so please do use it if you decide to create one of these #moving_stills ( there’s another hashtag! )
GifX: this is a really simple app but you have to be prepared to be creative with both the gifs and the masks they provide you with and I would also recommend getting the in-app purchases. Don’t just look at the gifs on face value; manipulate them to within an inch of their giffness! The steam in the moving still below for example was made from a circle of moving feet!
- Flixel: This is a very sophisticated app which I haven’t explored enough yet. To get the most benefit from it you have to use a tripod and get the Pro version, but I sort of think it’s an investment into the future of my moving stills.
- Lumyer: I’ve only recently started using this app, but it’s brilliant, so I would suggest if you wanted to start playing with moving still, this is the app for you!
And that’s it really, although I also like to use sound as well, so you can add that after you’ve created your moving still.
Here are a few more of mine so you can look at how I’ve played around:
So the order of the day is be creative, mix it up, app-mash it up and find your own way!
Also a couple of other accounts to look at who use this sort of thing are as I mentioned before @n_cour, and also @this_is_the_house and @me_and_orla and @finelittleday You can follow @flixelphotos on Instagram too, for lots of inspiration, and if you want to work more with making films generally, the Instagram queen of time capsules and boomerangs is @Xantheb who runs great online courses.
Happy stillness folks!
( if you think a workshop on all this would be useful, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org )