‘Scenser’ is an installation and performance piece by Karima Sulaiman and Arjuna Benson. The project was a commissioned work for the Reinvigoration Centre as part of the Pitch Music and Arts Festival 2020. The Reinvigoration Centre was curated as a place of rest, relaxation and recuperation from the frenetic experience of the music festival.
‘Scenser’ explores the rituals of scent, movement and meditation using references from religious and spiritual practice. The work comprised of two hand made censers and a series of burning rituals performed twice a day for the duration of the festival.
By reinterpreting the artefact of the censer into a contemporary flower like shape made from poured resin and hung with industrial metal fixtures, the artist pulls the iconography of the object away from its histories. The two censers were hung in tandem from the central chamber of the Reinvigoration centre. The repeated ritual saw the burning of three resin incenses over the course of the weekend, each selected for their healing properties and significance within different cultural and spiritual traditions. Swung deliberately to disperse the scent as the holders moved methodically through the space.
The project is part of a larger series of scent encounters, presented by the artist under the moniker ‘Scentscaper’. Across the body of works, scent is explored through its connections with memory, intimacy and spirituality with references to its use in aromatherapy and restorative practices.