In the centre of the room is a domed alchemist’s jar containing a piece of genuine ambergris for visitors to sniff; apparently some find the scent of it sickening, and it’s certainly strange – a sort of floral muskiness with a salty bite.
- Chloe Hodge
Ambergris was an olfactory and edible exploration of one of nature’s most curious scents: an introduction to an oceanic enigma, through a collection of historical objects, contemporary photography and sensory curiosities.
This aromatic artefact has been used in everything from Indian ink to aphrodisiacs, and everywhere from Ancient Egypt to 21st century Paris. An intriguing and unusual topic, ambergris was the perfect subject matter for AVM Curiosities’s first solo exhibition at Herrick Gallery, London.
Ambergris | Herrick Gallery, London | 14 June - 4 July 2013 | With thanks to Christopher Kemp, whose book 'Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris' was a key factual resource for this exhibition.