EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL / IdeaLife
Raewyn Turner 2015
Synopsis The vista of the new housing estate suggests a safe, abundant and happy lifestyle. Private home ownership accentuates the individualism which has emerged from the self-reliance ethos that is integral to NZ society. Individualism is visible in New Zealand suburban design influencing lifestyles and a general growing resistance to collective social structures.
In New Zealand home ownership was embedded in the national psyche for both working and middle class New Zealanders by the post WW1 social-democratic government settlement; in the 1990’s the National government sold the government mortgage portfolio that lent money to home buyers, to the banking sector. New Zealand is one of the few countries in the OECD without a capital gains tax and allows losses from negative gearing to be carried over, reinforcing a bias toward speculative housing investment. Non-resident speculators and land-bankers buy and sell houses and land. This practice of ‘property flipping’ has driven house prices out of reach of many citizens.
The audience are invited to put on a high vis security safety vest which is fragranced with a scent Everything was Beautiful. The scent has a base note of blue cypress ( which has a sacred vibration similar to frankincense or myrrh that can assist journeys into the dreamtime in magical and shamanic healing) amber, sandalwood, a heart of lilac and rose and top notes of apricot, peach and almond blossom.
The perfume is one of a series which I created inspired by my 2007 visit to Osmotheque Perfume Museum, Versailles, where I had requested to sample a number of perfumes created during periods of war and trauma. I was most fortunate to sample Le Fruit Defendu ( The Forbidden Fruit ) created in 1924 --1918 during WW1 by Henri Almeras. According Jean Kerleo, director of Osmotheque, Le Fruit Defendu became known as a 'condolence perfume' because it was too beautiful for the grieving nation to wear and enjoy. It was significant to me that the perfume was brought to the market in the wake of broken dreams of millions of people.
Filming Raewyn Turner
Editing Raewyn Turner
Audio Eddie Rayner
Technical assistance Brian Harris
Driving and navigation Eugene Rayner
Perfumer: Raewyn Turner
Exhibition List: Everything was Beautiful. Installation. Remember the Peacemakers. Thistle Hall. April 2015. Wellington, NZ