Smell is inextricably linked to memory and emotion; “the smell of _____evokes a sense of ______.” This project uses scent as a medium and examines that link through playful iterations. This project challenges how we define and interpret art in public space, where monument and mural are the most common mediums. The project for Noble Park was expressed through two iterations. Both were branded the way your local landscaper might be. The first iteration of the project was the trigger trained ‘Scentscaper’ who mists the scent of eucalyptus on to the old Redgum stump that commemorates the birth of Noble Park. By re-scenting the stump, the Scentscaper is illuminating past memories and encounters of this place whilst inviting new memories to be triggered and fused with old ones as the scent of eucalyptus wafts by.
The second iteration of this project was a ‘memory diffuser’, in the form of a retired public ashtray. This familiar object had its role reversed. Rather than a smoker putting smoke in, sweet scented smoke came puffing out of its own accord. Inside burned incense collected in India. These two iterations form a foundation for future explorations into scent based installation. The ‘Scentscaper’ project uses familiar characters, objects and branding to convey the mood of the project beyond the scent alone. It allows the audience to engage with the project without physically experiencing the installation, relying on past experiences and smell memory to fill in the blanks.
‘Scentscaper’ is the pseudonym or umbrella name for a series of investigations surrounding scent and memory and how that can be explored through installation. The projects reflect different experiences of memory and use scent as both a trigger, a catalyst and a method of communication. I began the project in the first semester of my Master of Art in Public Space in 2018. The most recent exploration was installed at the Pitch Music and Arts Festival in March 2020.