Grease | Traffic Fesitval | San Lorenzo in Campo, Italy | Group Exhibition | 2023

Grease presents scent adaptation through six samples showing plant scent changes under stress, offering insights into non-human experiences and prompting reflection on the definition of a plant's smell.

Smell is an emotive sense. One which seems constant, linking us to memories of places, people and events. Smell attracts, it entices, seduces and lingers. Smell is also vital to processes of relating, monitoring, safety, navigation and the passage of time.

Grease is a reconstruction and speculation on the adaptation of scent. Based on the research of Agroecologist Coline Jawroski. In collaboration with scent experts together we have developed a set of six samples. Three of these display the concept of a ‘control’ scent. The scent of a plant whilst at its optimum ecological ‘comfort’. The other three display the shift in count of some of those molecules based on scientific record. Can you smell the difference?

As plants adapt to drought conditions in the soil around them and their smell adapts with them. Shifts in molecular count can result in the confusion of wild pollinating insects, affecting their ability to navigate and identify species. During these times, the count of oily molecules in the air increases, with the potential to contribute to the ferocity of wildfires, this research is yet to be defined.

If plants change the way they smell based on external factors then what is the smell of a plant, how can this be defined?

How does something so ephemeral and invisible as smell change the world around us and how has this manifested over the centuries.

Scent by Megan Jones
Containers by Miranda Keyes

Developed as part of the ongoing research Facciamo il Bosco.