November 10, 2015, by Guest blog

Being Human 2015: Consider Smell

Post by Julia Feuer-Cotter.

Consider Smell is a series of events travelling from Nottingham to London 18 November to 22 November as part of Being Human 2015, a big public festival. Through a series of activities that explore the human sense of smell across space and time, participants will discover new aspects to this often overlooked but fundamental sense.

The Nottingham: Creative City Consider Smell events start with an exploration of the Nottingham caves, which contain over 900 years of odorous artifacts, from tanneries to air-raid shelters. Experience the caves in a new way as you delve deeper into your sense of smell and reflect on how you use senses to orientate yourself. After the smell walk, record your perception of the smellscape using water colours. This event is followed by an interactive art installation that explores Arctic smells in the past and present and links them to the Nottingham city smellscape. The exhibition will be open from 18-22 November in the Henderson Gallery at the Malt Cross.

At the weekend attention will shift to London, where we will offer a ‘molecular smelling workshop’ and explore the unique London odourscape in the Kensington area. During the workshop, participants will learn about the genetics, chemistry, and neurobiology of smelling. Participants will also hear about the importance of the sense of smell and about life without smells by Chris Kelly, who works with the smell-disorder charity Fifth Sense. During the smellwalk, participants will explore the unique odourscape of the Kensington area, with documentation from these geographical and temporal olfactory perceptions to be exhibited at the RCA.

The Consider Smell event is an opportunity to sniff out the specific scents of various places and times, to learn about differences in the way different people are able to smell, and to experience artists, scientists, and designers working together to understand how smells – nice and nasty – contribute to our lives.

The event aims to draw attention to how different people respond differently to odours by providing the opportunity for people who have lost their sense of smell and those eager to learn more about the sense of smell, to experience, exchange, and learn about this most mysterious and most wonderful of our senses.

Pre-registration is required for all events excepting the exhibits at the Malt Cross and Henderson Gallery (Nottingham) and the Royal College of Art (London).

Consider smell I: urban smell walk of Nottingham’s caves (Nottingham) | Wednesday 18 November | 16:00–18:00
Consider smell II: Nottingham exhibition (Nottingham)| Wednesday 18 November – Saturday 21 November | 19:00
Consider smell III: London|Saturday 21 November | 10:00–16:30

Posted in Being Human FestivalPublic engagement