Monday, 29 November 2010

The Garden of Unearthly Delights

The Garden of Unearthly Delights was an audio-visual-olfactory installation I designed and created for the basement of Wolstenholme Creative Space, Liverpool. It explored the connection between the senses of vision, hearing and smell.

Smell is particularly interesting to me as an artist because it is the oldest of the senses, connected directly to the most primitive part of the brain. This gives smell an enormous power over our emotional state; just a hint of a familiar smell can bring back a memory from childhood in intense detail.

The installation was a tribute to the work of Hieronymus Bosch, whose triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, contains one of the most famous depictions of Hell in art history. Here, however, there is no binary opposition between heaven and hell; everything is a matter of degrees, and, while there are poles of attraction, the real stuff of life lies in between, in the gap between birth and death.

Photos by Rob Anthony Adamson

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