Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Olfactory Art from Gayil Nalls

Last year we interviewed New York-based artist Gayil Nalls about her “olfactory sculpture” called World Sensorium, a statistically-based composition of essential oils from around the globe. Nalls recently made another foray into scented art with the Olfactory Inkblot Series.

Inkblot_1, which debuted last December, “comprises limited production, interactive works that encourage the user to explore olfactory perception and his or her psychophysical response to natural smells.” According to the artist, the series “draws attention to user’s unique response to scent perception and memory.” The interactive aspect is provided by an online survey in which respondents describe sensations and emotions evoked by the scents.

Inkblot_2, dubbed an Aromatic Experiential Edible, opened March 3 in the exhibition Scents & Medical Sensibilities at the Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC, where it runs until May 1, 2010. 
The candy-like amuse-bouche of inkblot_2 are made of multiple botanical plant essences, each having its own distinguishing physical and chemical qualities that define its character and promote healing. These entities also have the potential to unlock scent memories, offering a highly-textured and uniquely personal experience.

The artwork is completed when participants share their personal experiences and responses, transferring the personal perception of mouth and nose to a subjectively charged public space.
You can watch a YouTube of Gayil and the folks who helped her make the candy-scent here.


AnyasGardenPerfumes said...

Avery, I just discovered this artist and her work because of your blog - thank you. I'm bookmarking all of these links for my students for the upcoming module on scent perception.

Avery Gilbert said...


Cool. There's some interesting work being done out there and I'm happy to spread the word when I find it.

Daria Dorosh said...

I have had the pleasure of tasting inkblot_2, and it made me think that all candy has missed an opportunity - to create a depth of experience as Gayil has done. It takes an artist to show the richness of experience available to us. This is a wonderful achievement.