REPLICA – Martin Margiela Scent Memory exhibition for SHOWstudio

A group exhibition in London at SHOWstudio featuring artist’s work incorporating Margiela’s new line of fragrances. We were all given a fragrance to inspire a visual that came from the unconscious to the conscious mind. Mine being “Promenade in the Gardens”. I loved this process!

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My scent memory: “BOYS IN THE TREES”

Almost immediately this brought me back to the foyer in the house I grew up in. Perhaps this scent was close to something my mother wore or maybe one of her friends.

~ My mother and her friends are getting set to go out. The women are all dressed up. The front door is open, the cold air comes in from outside, their high heels clicking around on the octagon tiles. Their coats on, perfumes all intermingling with their laughter and jokes. I am sitting on the stairs watching through the banister.

It is an innocent time, full of wonder and confusion. This scent carries the resonance of a grown woman. It is earthy and sensual, warm and confident yet it brought me way back to a time when being in the fullness of being a woman felt very abstract and far away. I am reminded of a brilliant song by Carly Simon from the 70’s called “Boys in the Trees”. She had such a way of describing that time and this song describes my inspiration for this drawing perfectly.

I found a rather young and introspective photo of Naomi Campbell by Steven Meisel which had exactly the right feeling for this as she was the model that I given to incorporate.


Carly Simon “Boys in the Trees”

I’m home again in my old narrow bed
Where I grew tall and my feet hung over the end
The low beam room with the window looking out
On the soft summer garden
Where the boys grew in the trees

Here I grew guilty
And no one was at fault
Frightened by the power in every innocent thought
And the silent understanding passing down
From daughter to daughter
Let the boys grow in the trees

Do you go to them or do you let them come to you
Do you stand in back afraid that you’ll intrude
Deny yourself and hope someone will see
And live like a flower
While the boys grew in the trees

Last night I slept in sheets the colour of fire
Tonight I lie alone again and curse my own desires
Sentenced first to burn and then to freeze
And watch by the window
Where the boys grew in the trees

“Boys in the Trees” is available for purchase at the SHOWstudio online shop.

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