Humanity Perfume Fountain, 2010
Glass, stone, water, fragrance, 26.5" x 67" x 40"
With the knowledge that scent can convey memories and feelings in a uniquely impactful way, artist and perfumer Anne McClain set out to create a fragrance that inspires compassion in a public space.
McClain's project started in September of 2009 after traveling to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she spent one week volunteering at Casa de los Angeles, a day care center for orphans and children of single working mothers. During the artist's time there she formed a deep connection with the children, and from this experience she started distilling her own feelings and memories into a fragrance that evokes a sense of compassion.
Ruminating on her time in Mexico, the artist next traveled to the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in southern France, the historic center for the creation of perfume. Here McClain began formulating the Humanity fragrance.
With the initial drafts in tow, McClain returned to the States and in January of 2010 launched a retail-edition of the fragrance, the Humanity Fragrance First Edition, which successfully began raising funds and awareness for the Humanity fountain.
In the summer of 2010, work began on the fountain, which aimed at creating a place where communing, contemplation, and reflection are welcome. Collaborating with industrial designer Lance McGregor, glass artists Alan Iwamura and Isaac Tecosky, and scupltors Jarek Klim and Facundo Newbery, McClain and the group installed the fountain in Brooklyn's McGolrick Park on August 7, 2010.
For the duraction of the installation McClain offered free workshops on basic perfumery and aromatherapy beginning, as a way to continue exploring fragrance as a medium of compassion.