Art in a Sense
Smells, sights, textures, tastes, and sounds shape spaces and experiences. Explore your surroundings and your senses further with me via Destination Journal (DJ for short) posts, sensory tours, walks, and workshops.
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Yours in adventure,
“The world is extremely asymmetrical and the things that rest on it are fairly level.” – a slice of Summer Rodman’s journal from the recent Destination Journal in College Park, Florida. (Image: Summer Rodman)
The group (5 total) took to the alleys behind a small stretch of businesses, focusing mainly on smelling and hearing. A giant leaf moved down a driveway – causing us to search for its tree; we explored a white, unusual medical complex/former home – urban fossils like scabs on its walls, an abandoned fireplace, and a basketball hoop. Nearby we found freshly poured tar and another white structure with an unknown purpose. We walked into Top Drawer Consignments from the back entrance, the patch of landscaping outside the door was inviting – floral plantings – and inside a change of smell and scenery. We weren’t able to track many smells on the walk – faint burger grease outdoors and eucalyptus or unknown candle scents mixed inside the shop. On the way back to Downtown Credo (our starting and ending spot) we used the sidewalks in front of the buildings – sitting down on benches to pay attention to the waves of cars and the sounds from their radios and passengers – stopping and starting and rolling forward.
Here are a few new, and not-so-new, musings and ongoing goals for 2015. Many are repeat visitors from 2014.
Not large and loud and with a big crowd. Hoping to continue with Destination Journal in 2015 on a small and intimate scale. Workshops and walks in unusual spaces are on the horizon.
Hope to complete some new work based on past inspiration within The Sensory Space of A Bus and other projects.
Book, books, books. Adding some new ones to my collection in 2015 and continue to use them as inspiration for Destination Journal. I particularly adore Visual Editions. Over the past year, I created The Briefcase Library, an underground library with ongoing checkouts and no late fees for Friends of the Briefcase Library. I post images now and then on Instagram: dinamackdj. Also hope to work on more artist book collaborations and to spend more time in libraries, big and small.
Still learning, gathering, asking questions related to the sense of smell. Continuing to incorporate this and the other senses in my artwork, walks, and workshops. I will greatly miss an inspiration and gracious mentor in this area, Victoria Henshaw, who passed away last year.
The studio, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, the swimming pool. More of all three in 2015.
The Sensory Times – I started working on this body of work later last year and am now four issues in.
Little flowers, stems, pods, roots. I STILL love you.
Dollhouse Timeshare. Hope to spend some time with the Dollhouse Timeshare Homeowner’s Association this year.
Here’s to a wonderful January and Happy New-ish Year!
Last month’s Destination Journal brought us to the East End Market for Florida Bookstore Day, organized via indie bookstore Bookmark It. A few sensory notes: coffee, soap, pencils, tape. A great morning of clutter, composition, and conversation with creative and talented women.
This month, visit a farmer’s market, grocery, or bookstore. Do any items in the bins or shelves inspire you? Pick one, have it wrapped, and use the wrapping in your Destination Journal.
Last month’s Destination Journal brought us to The Paper Gallery in College Park, FL. The space is run by Mother/Daughter team, Sue and Angelyn Conklin, who have been in the stationery-greeting card-gift business for over 30 years in the area. The sights of the space included a multitude of cards, journals, colors; smells included a candle of the flowery sort; tastes-coffee from nearby Downtown Credo; sounds; paper being folded and the scurry of their tiny dog; touch-so much paper. They carry Le Pen, pens, in a multitude of colors. This alone makes them a spot to love. I think many return visits and an upcoming Destination Journal, The Alleys of College Park, are definitely in order. Thank you Sue and Angelyn for being such gracious hosts and to my DJ regulars!
This month, visit a paper shop or stationery store. Pick out one card and use it as the surface or the inspiration for your Destination Journal.
April’s Sensory Tour gave us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the shops, restaurants, and cooking oil containers of Winter Park, Florida’s, Park Avenue. We tracked smells on the route down the alley, and then listened to the sounds of the space and the evening on the way back. We were fortunate to gain access into an interior, fan-filled, low-ceiling corridor. This gap between buildings led directly to the actual Gap store across the street. Smells along the way included: fresh tortillas from Cocina 214, soap, assorted garbage, oil, cigarettes, jasmine. The alley’s terrain changed as businesses led to private residences and as our eyes glanced above and below the surface. We enjoyed a sensory palette cleansing, and air conditioning, inside Sassafras Sweet Shoppe.
Sounds on the way back included a very squeaky cart wheel, music, conversation, and a serene series of water drips.