Chatham Passage by Sean Derry
The artist (standing) during the installation of the scent machine with a portion of the corten steel grate open to the vault below.
Sean Derry (b. 1978, American)
Chatham Passage, 2010
Concrete vault, corten steel grate, LED lights, and scent machine
Grate is approximately 80 x 42 inches
“Chatham Passage” is a multisensory artwork comprised of a sunken concrete scent vault with an ornate steel grate and LED lighting. Located in a historic alley in the Mass. Ave. Cultural District and adjacent to a night club, the scent vault will release a faint floral aroma recalling a scent historically associated with luxury. Both the luxurious scent and the ornate latticework of the vault cover reference the work of the former Real Silk Hosiery Mill, which was located adjacent to the alley as well. The vault form also references the historic coal vaults in the area. The ethereal qualities of the vault, grate, light and scent are intended to create an emotional environment that allows trail users to form unique relationships with the Indianapolis cityscape of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
About Sean Derry
Sean Derry is a conceptual artist whose public projects seek to connect a site’s history with its current context and use. Derry earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and his Masters of Fine Art in studio art from The Ohio State University, where he studied with internationally renowned artist Ann Hamilton. Derry completed a successful site-specific public art project in Indianapolis in 2005 as a finalist in the Great Ideas Competition managed by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. His project “Charting Pogue’s Run” received national recognition at the annual conference of the Americans for the Arts when it was selected by the artist Mary Miss and Robert Rindler, artist and president of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, to be featured in the Public Art Year in Review as one of the most innovative and exciting public art projects to happen in the country that year. A former resident of Bloomington, he now lives in Pittsburgh.