Perfume pop-up 'makes scents' of art collection

14 August 2019

Perfume pop-up 'makes scents' of art collection
Imperial Health Charity's art collection was transformed into a series of beautiful fragrances as part of a special pop-up event at Charing Cross Hospital recently.

The ‘Demistify’ exhibition, a collaboration between the charity and creative studio ‘on the mend’, captured the essence of key artworks to make them more accessible to patients.

According to on the mend, the sense of smell is one of our most well-developed yet least understood senses and is known to be beneficial to the health of people who have dementia and brain injuries. The studio’s aim is to find a more inclusive and unusual way to enjoy the charity’s art collection.

As part of the exhibition, artist Jo Bruton’s botanical wallpaper was turned into a floral scent inspired by popular 1950s perfumes, while David Mach’s Visit London collages were distilled into the smells of tobacco, leather, rubber and vanilla.

“Since my stroke, I have not left the hospital for months,” said one patient. “I actually loved smelling the perfume based on London dirt because I even miss the smell of pollution outside! Thank you for bringing a piece of the outside in for me.”

The charity manages a collection of more than 2,000 artworks across the Trust’s five hospitals, brightening wards and waiting areas with colourful art. 

A survey carried out by the charity in 2014 revealed that seven out of 10 patients felt more relaxed during their time in hospital because of the art collection.

To find out more about the charity's art collection, click here.