Scent-infused mirror maze by Es Devlin fills south London warehouse
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Scent-infused mirror maze by Es Devlin fills south London warehouse

British set designer Es Devlin has created a disorienting mirror maze inside a former warehouse in Peckham, which is perfumed with an exclusive Chanel scent (+ slideshow).

The installation titled Mirror Maze is set up in a former industrial estate now used as artists' studios in southeast London.

Mirror Maze by Es Devlin

Devlin has created stage sets for world-famous musicians Kanye West and Miley Cyrus as well as major theatrical productions and fashion shows, but this is her first solo show.

"I wanted to slightly turn the tables, my work normally has the audience outside, the performer elevated and broadcasting and I wanted the visitor or the guest to be welcomed into the art piece," Devlin told Dezeen at a preview of the installation.

Mirror Maze by Es Devlin

The installation was commissioned by The Fifth Sense, a new partnership between Chanel and i-D magazine.

Like her stage sets, Devlin designed the installation to offer visitors a one-off experience and it will close after just five days.

Mirror Maze by Es Devlin

The space is divided into four rooms linked by oval portholes.

The first is a darkened space featuring a large-scale film projection showing Devlin's design process.

Mirror Maze by Es Devlin

An opening in the centre of the screen leads visitors up a mirrored staircase reminiscent of the one linking the former apartment of Chanel founder Coco Chanel with the salon in Paris.

The steps lead visitors up to a gallery overlooking the maze, which is accessed through a further series of staircases covered in mirrors and light beige carpet.

Mirror Maze by Es Devlin

The mirrors and a second film installation surrounded by water within the maze are intended to invoke the sensation of falling – a feeling Devlin associates with scent.

The final room is lit by red lights and filled with smoke and the scent of a bespoke Chanel perfume created for the installation.

Mirror Maze by Es Devlin

"I wanted to try to make people have that feeling that I have when I open a cupboard door in a strange hotel in Belfast and smell moth balls and plummet – literally no part of the cerebral cortex engaged, pure ancient lizard lymphatic system kicking in – transporting you to how it felt when you smelt that smell when you were a child," said Devlin.

Mirror Maze by Es Devlin

"What the maze represents is the complex structures that all of us create around ourselves to just function and I wonder how easy it is to allow oneself access to these ancient instinctive connections the more complex our day-to-day structures become."

Mirror Maze by Es Devlin

The installation opens today and will run until 25 September 2016 at Copeland Park in Peckham, south London.

Photography is by Victor Frankowski.