Davids Samling, Sensual Delights
This temporary exhibition focuses on the Davids Samling Islamic Collection of incense burners and sprinklers.
Aromatic substances, and especially incense and rosewater, have played an important role in the Islamic world since ancient times, and still do this very day. Burners and sprinklers are the vessels for aromatic substances that were to fill the air with sensual, ethereal fragrances.
These types of vessels appeal to several of our senses. They appeal to our sense of smell through the rich fragrances they release, while their tactility and lavish decoration seduce our senses of touch and sight.
Sensuality and intimacy
The sensuality inherent in the artefacts is amplified through their staging within the exhibition. The dark space is punctuated by warm lights directed at the artefacts which highlight the richness of their embellished surfaces. This quality of light also adds to the mysterious and seductive atmosphere that the objects exude.
The exhibition is organised with a smell-scape at the center of the space, and the artefacts arranged in display cases around it. This staging emphasises how smell is the defining component of the vessels. The smell-scape takes the form of a podium housing various precious fragrances within exquisite containers. The visitor is encouraged to come close, and to intimately engage with each fragrance. Through activating the sense of smell alongside sight, the visitor can have a more layered understanding of how the objects would have been used in reality.
The intimacy of the objects and their seductive aroma is further amplified through the dark purple colour which accents the walls of the space.