December 17, 2019

What is the essence of nostalgia?

Cara Louise Walker

Glass, Scent & ArduinoThe Essence of Nostalgia, 201820x15x18cm

Nostalgia is the fleeting yet extremely powerful feeling of the past; it is the yearning for a perfect time, an emotional episode that we experience through our senses. The olfactory system – our sense of smell – is said to be one of the most powerful and emotionally evocative of our five senses, due to its direct link to the limbic system, which deals with the processing of emotion. Every day we are exposed to scent particles, processing them unwittingly, yet we are stopped in our tracks when we are met with a familiar scent. These strong ties with emotion are what draw me to the theme of nostalgia within my practice, exploring ways to visually interpret this phenomenon using traditional glass making methods and new technologies. From personal experiences with objects of memory, to the faint whiff of a scent that I cannot describe, I find myself wistful for a time past, longing for a person long gone, and reminded of memories thought to have been forever forgotten. ‘Essence of Nostalgia’ simulates the moments that memories are ignited by scent, celebrating the beauty of interpretation while using glass as a multi-sensory tool.