Tate Britain Exhibition

IK Prize 2015: Tate Sensorium

Stimulate your sense of taste, touch, smell and hearing in this immersive art experience

Can taste, touch, smell and sound change the way we ‘see’ art?

Tate Sensorium is an immersive display featuring four paintings from the Tate collection. You can experience sounds, smells, tastes and physical forms inspired by the artworks, and record and review your physiological responses through sophisticated measurement devices.

The experience encourages a new approach to interpreting artworks, using technology to stimulate the senses, triggering both memory and imagination. On leaving, you will be invited to explore the rest of the gallery using the theme of the senses as a guide.

IK Prize Sensorium

Artworks from the Tate collection

Tate Sensorium features four twentieth century British paintings from Tate’s collection of art. Flying Object and their team of collaborators have selected artworks which can be appreciated sensually in terms of their subject matter, use of shape, form, colour, style and your own imagination.

The dark nature of Francis Bacon’s Figure in a Landscape is drawn out by Paul A. Young in the taste of edible charcoal, sea salt, cacao nibs and smokey lapsang souchong tea. Recordings using directional audio by hypersound contrast a busy ship’s hold with jagged sounds to heighten your experience of David Bomberg’s In The Hold. The use of spray paint and the duality of John Latham’s Full Stop is explored through audio combined with an ultrahapticss device using ultrasound to create touch sensations on the hand with air. Meanwhile the central character of Richard Hamilton’s Interior II is captured through scents by International Flavors and Fragrances of vintage hair-spray and the sounds of a home.

Francis Bacon, ‘Figure in a Landscape’ 1945
Francis Bacon
Figure in a Landscape 1945
© Estate of Francis Bacon. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020
David Bomberg, ‘In the Hold’ c.1913–14
David Bomberg
In the Hold c.1913–14
© Tate
John Latham, ‘Full Stop’ 1961
John Latham
Full Stop 1961
© John Latham Estate, courtesy Lisson Gallery, London
Richard Hamilton, ‘Interior’ 1964–5
Richard Hamilton
Interior 1964–5
© The estate of Richard Hamilton

Flying Object collaborated with a core team of experts to bring the experience to life:

  • Audio created by Nick Ryan
  • Scents designed by Odette Toilette
  • Chocolates created by Paul A. Young
  • Scientific input and mid-air haptics design by Dr Marianna Obrist, Damien Ablart and Dr Carlos Velasco at the Sussex Computer Human Interaction Lab, University of Sussex
  • Lighting design by Cis O’Boyle
  • Interactive theatre design by Annette Mees
  • Human interface development by Make Us Proud and team
  • Guide to Tate Sensorium voiced by Tamsin Greig

Special thanks go to our partners, without whom the experience would not be possible:

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit


26 August – 4 October 2015