Narrative Art

As we move along this path we call life – people, places and situations drift in and out like the ocean tide. One of the individuals that appeared on my shore many years ago was Mark Murphy. When I first met him he was wearing the hat of a graphic designer. These days he wears many different chapeaus, the most notable is art curator of Narrative Art. Mark holds the intention to create a Narrative Art Museum, like him, the vision is magnetic drawing together a rich tapestry of artists stitched with passion and a supportive team.

I am privileged to be part of Marks latest exhibition titled Survey Select, a multi sensorial eight week event at the WonderBread Factory in San Diego. Survey Select was inspired by the American art salons that started in the late 1920s. During the salons of old, the public was exposed to unique fine art, poetry, critical writings about the times and way out entertainment.

Art by: Marco Wagner (L) and David Michael Bowers (R)

A private opening was held last night hosting over two hundred attendees from artists to patrons of all ages. The infamous Zandra Rhodes, with her eccentric flair, was one of the many talented creatives to preview the collection featuring notables from all over the world including James Jean.

Although there was a plethora of glorious art I was most drawn to a series of small mixed media sculptures by artist Bonnie Marie Smith titled Heads and Hands. The pieces are sweet and whimsical laced with an underpinning of darkness. Bonnie wasn't at the last nights event but will be in San Diego next week for Comic Con. I look forward to meeting her and perhaps seeing more of her work.

For Survey Select I created a natural perfume based on a collaborative perfume project started in 2008. The poet Heather Ettlinger invited fourteen perfumers to interpret the Ezra Pound poem titled In the Station of a Metro for Perfume in a Poem. At the time, my contribution to the project was all theoretical, although I had begun a few sketches in the form of accords.

In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
~ Ezra Pound

The fragrance and inspired image is called Gracing the Dawn, a reference to the Three Graces from Greek mythology. I choose to interpret the Pound poem as three sprites who have manifested on Earth to herald in the Spring. The fantastical butterflies sit on the bough of a tree with freshly opened blossoms just as the first light of dawn begins to illuminate the sky. The first edition of the liquid flacons will feature a tincture of violets created this last Spring. For a period of over one month I tediously placed fresh violet flowers into a base of Organic Grape alcohol. Every few days I removed the spent flowers and added new ones to the alcohol resulting in a tincture of violet flowers.

The tincture adds another layer of violet notes to the fragrance which features a bouquet of some of the most expensive botanical aromatics found on planet earth. The perfume is velvety and sultry evoking a vintage from days long gone or perhaps an alternate dimension where we glimpse luminous winged sprites on a wet, black bough.

Gracing the Dawn has an exclusive appearance at the Survey Select exhibition until next weeks opening of the San Diego Comic Convention.

Photo above: Roxana Villa (me), Mark Murphy and my husband Greg Spalenka.

I invite you to visit the stunning show and events Mark has orchestrated over the next eight weeks. There is much inspiration to feast on. As the world continues to transform we will more likely see more independent art events like this one. Kudos to Mark who has followed his passion and in turn become a beacon for the arts.

The public opening takes place this evening at Wonder Bread Factory : 1440 Imperial Avenue (14th St. and Imperial), San Diego, CA from 6pm to 11pm. Step into a conceptual art space that defines contemporary story telling. Eclectic by nature and selective by choice, “Survey Select” features 65 internationally renowned artists who firmly reestablish... narrative art as a definitive, globally inspired movement with increasing cultural relevancy. Be the first to see this great art exhibition.

Meet with traveling artists, regional celebrities and be a part of art history in the making. Curator, Mark Murphy will deliver a spirited 15 minute slide show presentation at 8:00 PM.

Images: Heads and Hands by Bonnie Marie Smith, Wonderbread Factory and related imagery courtesy of Mark Murphy, Gracing the Dawn perfume illuminated by Greg Spalenka.


paula said...

roxana, i love this post, you have tied art and culture into what you do...that you are so inspired by these things and are able to somehow create a scent based on that is pretty amazing!
thank you for this post, i can almost imagine what that perfume must smell like, sounds beautiful! best to everyone in the show too.

Waterrose said...

what an amazing post. thank you for sharing...and I wish I could see the show.

kathiroussel said...

you have a ceaseless energy and zest for all things creative and beautiful roxana. thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. i'm smelling the violets from here...and mark murphy's work is wonderful!

WolfeWoman said...

Thanks for taking us inside your world, Roxana. You are blessed to have many artistic souls as friends! I enjoyed reading about the complex process by which your perfume inspiration occurs. A most fascinating read!
XO Lee/ OneClaybead

Victoria Webb said...

I had read about the Wonder Bread Factory before, but it's great to have an 'inside' link to art happenings out there.

Roxana, you have the most enigmatic fragrances and your descriptions are truly poetic - I'm going to have to splurge at some point!