Anise Gallery alongside AVR London and A-VR present a multi-sensory exhibition for The London Festival of Architecture. The 2018 edition of the festival bears the theme of ‘Identity’ and as such we will be celebrating the history of Shad Thames and its importance to past and present members of the community.

With London in the midst of intense regeneration, ‘Scents of Shad Thames’ looks to the immediate neighbourhood and responds creatively through the media of virtual reality, photography and drawing, exploring how the identity of the architecture is shaped by its inhabitants and vice versa.

A virtual reality experience will introduce visitors to the 6 selected Shad Thames buildings : Wheat Wharf, Anchor Brewhouse, Anise Building, Cinnamon Wharf, Tea Trade Wharf and 28 Shad Thames (Former Design Museum). Through the headset, within the virtual world, these buildings will emerge from an aerial map of SE1. Visitors will be invited to investigate each building, resembling the size of a doll house within the virtual setting. In the gallery, as they spend time in front of each virtual re-incarnation, their senses will be further stimulated as the smells associated with the historical life of the building will float up to meet them. As virtual reality has become renowned for taking over the senses of sight and sound, we take this one step further with the sense of smell…

The walls of the gallery will be dedicated to photographic interpretations of the area by Matthew White, Isabel Marshall and Francesca Petryszak . Literal portraits of the exterior will accompany more abstracted images from each artist and select interior shots revealing the hidden story from within. As visitors progress through the gallery, corresponding spices will accompany their journey referencing the area’s former identity as spice warehouses and stimulating the sense of smell.

It is well recognised that scents trigger memories more than any of the other four senses; therefore, by smelling the spices/tea/fruit that was part of the buildings history, visitors will attach their own ideas to something integral to the identity of the gallery.