Colour Me

The Art of Consumption groupshow curated by Bea Rubio-Gabriel (2019)

Artwork Description

Colour Me (2019) was one of the artworks exhibited in Bea Rubio-Gabriel's curatorial show titled "The Art of Consumption". During Colour Me, the audience were invited to colour in Jessica Tanto's childhood drawings using colourless crayons containing different scents. Some of the 24 scents available were: leaves, orange, chocolate, men's perfume, ocean, and burnt wood. After 'colouring' the drawing using scents, audience members can stick them on the wall using stickers.

Medium: Aromatherapy oil, wax, A4 papers and printer ink, stickers, scissors, plinth, floor pillows, pink bed sheet, wall paint, stickers.

Artist's Personal Reflection

Most art museums and galleries I've been to would make it clear that I, as an audience, am unworthy of the glorious, ethereal artworks they are exhibiting. They do this by maintaining a physical distance between me and the works using barricades and banners which say 'DO NOT TOUCH'. With the amount of distance, all I could do was look at the art.

Why is there only room to use my eyes (+ sometimes ears) in art galleries, when I have 5 modes of sensing: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch? As someone who is very sensitive to smell, I tried to bring this mode of sensing to the gallery space to observe how people would respond.

The art of Colour Me lies in the unique experiences the audience had while colouring in my childhood drawings using the unique-smelling colourless crayons, and sticking them on the wall. Hence, the audience can only perceive the artwork if they used their sense of smell to interact with the work.

This artwork was a unique experience for me and the audience who attended. I truly enjoyed the warm atmosphere that resulted from this novel experience I underwent together with the audience members. Just like learning to colour-in as a child, we unlearnt how to perceive an artwork in a gallery space together.

Several audiences and the artist herself chatting while coloring in the drawings, then using stickers to stick it on the wall.

Preview of the table (a repurposed display plinth) with the coloring sheets, crayons, and stickers.

2 of the 6 colouring sheets to chose from

Colourless crayons created using wax and aromatherapy oil

Detail of participant's works on the unevenly painted pink wall

Close up of works stuck on the yellow wall

An audience member sniffing the participant's artworks to perceive it

Process of creating colourless crayons

Creating the mould of real crayons

Documentation photographs by Melbourne Film Studio