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28 October 2023
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IN FULL BLOOM II Glazed Ceramic 30 x 30 x 33cm By Ben Orkin 2023 / Image: Matt Slater


Backrooms, Bookstores, Balconies, Meatracks and Tearooms

Once upon a time, two artists who love terracotta clay met in an art gallery symbolically called “What if The World”

One was expressing his ideologies through shape, the other through scent.

Once the artist created the shapes, the perfume revealed itself…

The perfume was made for a queen and it is called Florae… It reveals all parts of life, from flower, pollination, to fruit, to the rot, putrid decay of the end of summer, when autumn sets in.

Queens and flowers are connected through common experiences. They want to live their way, be noticed, accepted, felt. The life of a queen is a life of expression. Spectacular, ornate, rich! But the queen has to wear it down with subtle elegance, not to attract the wrong attention, but just enough to be effective.

Jasmine is the queen of flowers. She is enough even if she lacks color. White, unassuming, unable to attract attention from pollinators, she learned to act at night in the dark by creating the most seductive scent: indole, an organic compound occurring in most white flowers, found also in decomposing matter. And this is what makes it so familiar and attractive to our primal instinct.

Flowers develop tenacious and successful scents in order to transform into fruits that invite even the most innocent to bite and learn about life and death. The ripe fruit wants its seeds to sprout- to be heard, to be seen, to continue.

“…the aroma of flowers from which we have borrowed our perfumes, while extremely powerful, has been from the beginning entirely seductive in its intention”

Tom Robbins in Jitterbug Perfume

Ben Orkin’s solo exhibition “Backrooms, Bookstores, Balconies, Meatracks and Tearooms” scented with Florae Parfum by Madalina Heneck opens at the What If The World Gallery, 16 Buiten Street, Cape Town on the 28-th of October and runs until the 28-th of November