18 May 2022

Unique 'smell walk' has been created in Derry

Innovative project gives people something else to enjoy while taking a stroll around the city

New plan being discussed to reduce the amount of traffic allowed in to Derry's Walled City area

The new 'smell walk' is a new addition to Derry's tourism offer.

A 'smell walk' around Derry has been created.

The unique initiative has been been created by artist Jan Uprichard in conjunction with the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Derry.

It is called OlfactoStroll.

People will be able to download a specially-created podcast of that name which they can listen to while walking around the city.

If you’re not local, however, you can still listen to the audio anywhere in the world or around your own home to create your own OlfactoStroll.

“Both walking and smell have taken on added importance during the pandemic,” said a CCA spokesperson.

“This guided walk offers a different way to experience familiar surroundings guided by a series of prompts from the artist.

“The podcast/guided walk is accompanied by a series of Deep Smelling protocols which are visible through our gallery windows and at various spots around the city.”

Jan Uprichard is an artist and freelance curator/producer based in Belfast.

She is currently a PhD researcher at Ulster University.

The CCA spokesperson added: “OlfactoStroll is grounded in Jan’s PhD research, in which she is developing a method of Deep Smelling.

“Deep Smelling is a meditative, experiential and process-based art practice, which brings attention to our sense of smell.

“As an artist and researcher Jan works with smell as a device to re-programme how we perceive our surroundings, whilst themes of friendship fuel her curatorial practice.

“Jan’s art practice oscillates between participatory events and obsessive research, using smell, walking, archives, mapping, food, sound, film, bookmaking, botany, and interventions as tools.

“Jan’s hope, as we negotiate the pandemic and try to figure out what a ‘new normal’ could be, is that we take the opportunity to maintain a slower pace.

“That we will reflect on our experiences with a quiet activism, that utilises taking time to do nothing but wander around, and in this case, notice what we can smell and sense around us.”

If you do not have a device with the ability to play podcasts, email to arrange use of an iPod.

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