Art lovers have been promised a novel form of exhibition thanks to the Tate Sensorium, as the exhibits seek to stimulate not just visual appreciation but to delight the attendees’ other senses in equal measure at the same time. In recognition of the artists being just as inspired in their works by what they hear, taste or touch, this is an attempt by Tate Britain to recreate those additional influences. The project is clearly seeking to push the boundaries of art to the very limits of our sensory perception. Included among those whose work will be on show will be the 20th century British artists Francis Bacon and John Latham.

IK Prize winning idea

As the gallery seeks to utilise technology to enhance the overall experience at the Tate and to promote British art, their latest idea is the brainchild of the winning project from the second annual IK Prize that the gallery itself initiated last year. ‘Flying Object’ received £10,000 for their suggestion of Tate Sensorium and an additional £60,000 to turn their proposal into reality.

It could be a sign of things to come as people interact in a revolutionary manner with the paintings on display in gallery 38, employing their full range of senses. The organisers are referring to the exhibition as an “immersive display”. To facilitate the new experience, the services of a scent expert, an audio specialist and a master chocolatier have been drawn on to complement the paintings themselves.

The works on display

Four works will be on display, each with a slightly different sensory ‘twist’ to provide a variety of talking points:

  • Interior II – Richard Hamilton’s 1964 collage will be accompanied by a perfume originating from that period.
  • Full Stop – John Latham was known to have an interest in both Zen Buddhism and physics, inspiring the gallery to complement his work with the sensations of sound and touch.
  • In the Hold – the work by David Bomberg has a dockyard theme and both smell and sound sensations will be evident to people viewing the work.
  • Figure in a Landscape – one of Francis Bacon’s less well known works from 1945 is accompanied by taste, sound and smell stimuli.

The exhibition is set to run from 26th August until 20th September this year.