Anchored within the world of scent, Hyper-Natural explores how designers in the medium of scent select synthetic fragrances to put together extraordinary designs. These designs, when built, become extraordinary works of scent art. Curated by former New York Times perfume critic and author Chandler Burr, Hyper-Natural introduces us to the thoughtful, intricate, fascinating, and virtually unknown medium of design—invisible, powerful— and expands our concept of design itself.
This exhibition is part of NGV garden programs to celebrate the arrival of spring. Through September the Grollo Equiset Garden will come to life as 18,000 newly planted flowers bloom, a unique installation of mist will create an ephemeral cloud, with Hyper-Natural offering an invitation to enjoy the garden on a sensory journey of discovery.
Hyper-Natural presents 7 ingenious synthetic scent molecules created from the birth of the first such molecules in the 1850s to the hugely sophisticated molecular scents of today.
Each of these 7 molecules will be paired with a major work of olfactory art, a perfume, in which that molecule played a major role, and visitors will come to understand the scent molecule’s special part in the work. They will also understand the work of art as a whole and how it came from that design.
The exhibition will be located in the sculpture garden at NGV International, St Kilda Road. Visitors will embark of a sensory journey through the garden to smell the 14 molecules and scent works. In addition to the exhibition, a program of Scent Design events led by Burr will allow visitors to experience to world of olfactory art from many perspectives.
Burr, who wrote the book; The Emperor of Scent and is Curator of the Department of Olfactory Art in New York, says a key inspiration for the project is to 'get visitors to move beyond mere emotional responses and memories and to recognize and think critically about scent design'.
The NGV acknowledges the generous support of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.