Susana Cámara Leret,  Works,  Bio

Organoleptic (An)archive of NHS
02.2017 — On-going

Glass / Polished metal / Printed matter



Dep. of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN) Fellowship — NHS Arts & Therapeutic Design programme, Edinburgh (UK)



Breathing is a shared act. We all breathe from the same air and, exhaling and inhaling, share aspirational practices.

The work follows the treatment of tangled blood vessels in the brain, or arteriovenous malformations, through an embolisation procedure performed by the Neuroradiology team at Western General Hospital’s Department of Clinical Neuroscience. In this process, a glue-like substance is introduced into the brain which changes the smell of the breaths of both neuroradiologist and patient. As there is no “opening-up” of the body, the procedure leaves no visible scars and this so-called “Onyx smell”, which lingers in the wards after the intervention, is the only physical indicator of the operation that took place.

The main molecule responsible for this odour is also a key component in the smell of so-called “carrion flowers” and other vegetable bodies. Engaging with the sensory experiences of a community of neurosurgeons, patients and nurses, the work explores the use of smells as hyperlinks to consider experiences and relations between medical spaces and botanic gardens, once medicinal gardens.

2010 — 2019