Speaking to the many senses, creative collective Acid Salt challenges how we engage with art

Beginning first as an exhibition, the growing collective presents an unconventional approach to the artistic practice, questioning the very underpinning of how we curate.

5 May 2021

In its boundary-pushing and discipline-merging work, neo-aesthetic collective Acid Salt creates not 360-degree experiences but, in its own words, “370-degree experiences”. Initiated by a group of creatives looking to push the ways in which we perceive art with all our senses, projects and pieces by the group are sensory artworks specifically curated to uplift one another. There is no specific style or approach, but instead a consistent want to combine strong and soft elements and “reach for shared sensory electricity”, explains founding member Angela Donskaia of the collective’s creative aims.

Kickstarting in 2018, Acid Salt began as a one-off exhibition. Wanting to create an exhibition where viewers would leave “not just remembering the artwork, but the whole physical and emotional sense,” Angela purposefully reached out to collaborators purely for their “associative thinking and intuitive curation”. In this search she first found Hedwich Rooks, a polymorphic artist who aims to “sharpen the eco-psychological and collective consciousness”, largely through sculptural installations and photography – “Literally a muse” as Angela puts it. Hedwich then led Angela to Acid Salt’s third exhibiter Jan Johan Draaistra, an art director, graphic designer and artist currently studying an MA in non-linear narrative. In turn creating “the most magical, intuitive and efficient collaboration”, the trio hoped to embed the feeling their collective work evoked further as “the energy all three of us felt that evening of the event seemed to live a life of its own and never really left ours,” says Angela. Always saying they must meet again, it wasn’t until life became a little quieter in 2020 that the group were fully able to, creating Acid Salt the collective across Amsterdam, Norway and Belgium as a growing community.

A self-described fluid collective, Acid Salt showcases encourage all its members to display work they are currently working on, or even just ideas they’re thinking of pursuing in the future. The trio then curates their work together, building upon themes through more immersive touches like “wine curation, storytelling and tasting included as an art form”, while also considering the music, floral art or science-based art that may run alongside. “To give an example,” begins Angela, “Artist A displays their research on natural phenomena and synesthesia. On that same page, we’ll connect a setlist curated or created by a music producer, Artist B, so it lifts up the research with sound,” she explains. Then, another artist could be introduced as “a wine storyteller, or fermentation connoisseur, who combines the literature behind a wine flavour or the scientific process of fermentation with that same work of Artist A and B.”


Acid Salt Collective (Copyright © Acid Salt Collective 2021)

The continual evolving of one original idea then evokes this idea of a 370-degree experience, creating an individual experience for the viewer which is immeasurable. There is an unpredictability to Acid Salt events, creating an exciting approach in which to engage with art or ideas, opening the floor to alternative creativity and where curiosity is rife. With this approach, the group believes there is also more opportunity to absorb the art presented, letting “the art expressions soak up, so they become part of the under and receiver themselves, in which this shared experience becomes one,” points out Angela. The aforementioned combinations of disciplines aid this too, creating hybrid experiences to guide the viewer as they “dive into unknown areas to gain a better understanding of the current situation,” the co-founder continues.

Making way for new ideas in both the collective’s members and those who view the work, most of all, Angela hopes people are able to “find pleasure and appreciation in a nonconventional way of experiencing art. Not perceive it as pure aesthetics, but truly take home more profound memories and emotions that are enhanced by all the artistic elements working together, intuitively,” just as the groups very first exhibition presented. Now continuing to develop their online platform, plans are in the works for the next Acid Salt event IRL, with the hope to let “an audience and the community members experience what we’re building together”.

Acid Salt’s list of present community members includes Hedwich Rooks, Angela Donskaia, Jan Johan Draaistra, Serge Stork, Annija Muižule, Louisiana van Onna, Margot Domart, Ananda Serné, Philipp Groubnov, Thom van Hoek, and more to come.

GalleryAcid Salt Collective (Copyright © Acid Salt Collective 2021)

GalleryAcid Salt Collective (Copyright © Acid Salt Collective 2021)

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Acid Salt Collective (Copyright © Acid Salt Collective 2021)

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About the Author

Grace Lister

Grace joined It’s Nice That on a freelance basis in April 2021, alongside completing Make Your Own Masters. She works as a freelance designer, researcher and writer, working on projects that look to emerging shifts and how creativity shapes this.

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