Scent of Sydney by Cat Jones 2016

“A fascinatingly distinctive work…engrossing and altogether memorable”

Keith Gallasch, Realtime 137

“Exquisite & intimate” 

Jeremy Smith, Australia Council for the Arts

“You don’t walk out the same way you walk in.”

Paolo, East Timor

Can you really know a city by the way it smells?

In this work, artist Cat Jones distills more than first impressions and seeks to capture the real substance of Sydney, its stories of landscape, democracy, resistance, competition, and extravagance.

Through a series of conversations and debates you’re invited to create an olfactory portrait of our city and contribute your ideas and stories of Sydney’s identity. From sophisticated airs to dirty laundry these conversations and ideas will be opened up and transformed – through scent.

Featuring audio interviews and accompanying scents with Sydney change-makers Patrick Abboud, Auntie Frances Bodkin,  Dr Michael Darcy, Elizabeth Farrelly, Pat Fiske, Prof William Gladstone, Sarah Houbolt, Lyall Munro Jnr, Anne Summers and William Yang.

Scent of Sydney is hosts a series of public panels on each theme with speakers including The Hon. Michael Kirby, Larissa Behrendt, Michael Lavarch, Tania Leimbach, Illaria Vanni, Jeremy Walker, Jaimie Leonarder, Andrew Geeves, Dr Mem Mahmut, Fiona Winning and featured interviewees.

You can listen to featured interviews and read the web anthology at the Scent of Sydney website.

Commissioned by Sydney Festival 2017.





Concept, design, direction, curation, interviews, scent composition, web build: Cat Jones

Live artists: Rebecca Conroy, Sumugan Sivanesan, Nick Atkins, Maria White

Spatial Design: Pip Runciman

Graphic Design: Anais Taylor

Lighting: Neil Simpson

Sound Editor: Miles Martignoni and Ninah Kopel

Creative Producer: Fiona Winning

Project Manager: Imogen Semmler


Scent of Sydney, Sydney Festival. Image by Cat Jones 2017 Scent of Sydney, Sydney Festival. Image by Cat Jones 2017 Ceramic Cloche and Titles, Scent of Sydney, Sydney Festival. Image by Cat Jones 2017

Special thanks to Wesley Enoch, commissioning Artistic Director Sydney Festival 2017; Fiona Winning; project partners University Technology Sydney, Destination NSW, Naomi Taplin, Studio Enti, Sarah Last, Wired Lab, and to Alex Hyvonen, Amalina Whitaker, Bill Booth, Jason Ashmore, Whitney Eglington, Sarah Last, Jake Morcom, Ninah Kopel, Michael Cutrupi, Boni Carincross, Amelia Wallin and many more.