Established in 1984 to foster creativity and experimentation, Next Wave is the most comprehensive platform in Australia for a new generation of artists taking creative risks. With Next Wave celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, curator Katie Lenanton decided upon the idea of “celebration” as the “scent narrative” underpinning the project:
I was considering non-traditional ways in which artworks and audience experiences could create potent and celebratory festival memories. Scent and memory have long been known to be intertwined – the olfactory bulb is next to the limbic system, which houses long-term memory and emotion, which is why we can catch a whiff of campfire smoke and be instantly transported back to a childhood camping trip in quite a startling and immediate way.
The Conversation, an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community, discusses Smell Me by recent works by New York artist Martynka Wawrzyniak and positions the festival in the broader contexts of the arts:
Olfactory art – art concerned with smell – is currently a relatively minor field. But a growing number of contemporary artists are starting to explore the potentials of olfactory art.
The Conversation provides a comprehensive report on the festival. The article also provides background information on Smell You Later, a series of “scent-based encounters” in bathrooms, corridors, lobbies and stairwells of various festival venues. and delivered direct to the public.