Invisible Touch

2015

pine, citronella oil, Dove deodorant.

 

 

A scent fills a space. Rising up, pressing against the walls, wafting, pungent, expectant. Familiar to some, foreign to others, or else provoking a nagging feeling of, I know this. A window or a door is ajar, an escape route, after an undetermined period of time, the scent slips away. Or perhaps,we are all just so used to it now, that it has become a part of our surroundings.

 

 

Sensory gardens, or scented gardens for the blind, are gardens where visual aesthetics are unimportant. Plants present have instead be chosen for their fragrance, texture or taste. Lavender, herbs, aloe vera, succulents, grasses and ferns often feature. These garden are often built at waist height with a handrail for vision impaired people to hold on to, and allow the plants to be a comfortable distance from the nose as the rail guides them around beds. 

Invisible Touch applies this methodology as a critique upon the sensory hierarchies within the art world, which is still being described as 'visual', a term perhaps no longer current. Small pine planting sticks skirt the skirting board in the space; they are infused with citronella oil, a common essential oil used in New Zealand as a mosquito repellent, easily recognised, full of past associations and recollections.

Scent is the sense most closely connected to memory.