Sixth Floor, 2017, Sarah Baker Perfumes Installation at Storefront Gallery, Luton
Sixth Floor, named after Harrods exclusive Salon de Parfums, is an exhibition of new perfumes by London-based American artist Sarah Baker at Luton’s Storefront gallery.
Following artists such as Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamp in the tradition of artists' perfumes, Baker’s scents evoke fantasy experiences ranging from an open fire in a Highlands pub to cruising on a yacht around the Greek Islands.
Baker’s four perfumes Leopard, Greek Keys, Lace and Tartan are exhibited and available to try and buy from bespoke display cabinets and counters.
Echoing the luxurious and glamorous aesthetic of the high-end perfume world, the gallery and its shop-front windows have been transformed into an exclusive olfactory boutique, each scent presented in bottles and packaging designed and made by the artist. A member of the artist’s team is on hand at all times in the gallery to explain the scents to visitors and provide samples.
Also exhibited are Baker's photographic still life compositions inspired by each of the scents, visually representing their olfactory nuances. Resembling the point of sale and marketing displays produced by perfume houses, Baker has created an authentic shop setting for her own authentic perfume house. Inspiring discourse on the value placed on “designer” branded products, Sixth Floor is an experiential installation that transports onto Luton’s high street a glamorous perfume boutique you might expect to find in London or Paris.
No stranger to the worlds of fashion and glamour, Baker’s exploration of the fictional narrative of celebrity, advertising and marketing of luxury brands has taken form in works including celebrity style self-portraiture, a daytime television soap opera made with local residents in Buffalo NY and a live performed telenovella at the National Theatre Studio.
Sixth Floor is part of Luton’s arts programme As You Change, So Do I, including Mark Titchner’s outdoor lightbox, Beacon, and works by Polly Applebaum and Jennifer West. As You Change, So Do I is a new contemporary public realm arts project for Luton, and commissioned by Luton Culture.