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      After a first phase of calls for submissions from filmmakers and creative curators, five film makers and two curators have been appointed to develop film content for three channels that will be hosted on the building’s internal audio-visual system.

      As part of the ATD programme’s multi-sensory design and distraction imagery project, channels will be used by clinicians and play therapists to distract patients during treatment procedures by encouraging them to relax, engage or focus during procedures or treatments.

      Each channel will have three to four hours of commissioned content which will be played as an on-demand film sequence. The film content will be made up of short films or clips ranging from around one minute to thirty minutes in length.

      A clinician accessing the distraction channels will be able to filter content according to a patient’s age, preferred subject matter and length of time of the procedure or treatment the patient will undergo.

      The film library is seen as a tool to augment the current use of books, games and other distractions staff currently use and the filmmakers will create comparable distraction through the use of film. ‘Relaxing’ distraction is intended to calm and soothe the patient, whilst ‘engaging’ distraction is intended to hold the concentration of the patient for an extended period of time.

      Meet the filmmakers and curators and see some of their application showreels and existing work:

      Nim Jethwa
      Drawing on the tilt shift/time lapse methods used in his wildly popular short film ‘Little Bristol’ and Nim Jethwa will create a new ‘Little Edinburgh’ short film.

      Jack Lockhart
      Jack Lockhart uses a distinctive animation style combining moving image and painting.

      Kris Kubik
      Kris Kubik will be working to create four short films, based on wildlife habitats and species with local footage from the Water of Leith.

      Holger Mohaupt & Tracey Fearnehough
      Filmmaker Holger Mohaupt will work with filmmaker and researcher in the use of film with young people, Tracey Fearnehough. Along with Art Sparks, part of the learning programme at Jupiter Artland, a sculpture park near Edinburgh, they’ll run workshops for children aged 4 – 12 years. From these workshops a 1- 3 minute film will be produced.

      Adam Castle
      Adam Castle is Founder and Head Curator of the Edinburgh Artists’ Moving Image Festival (EAMIF) which celebrates video art and artist’s film. With extensive access to artists and archive resources, Adam will start curating films from a database of 1300 short films.

      Matt Lloyd
      Matt Lloyd is Director of Glasgow Short Film Festival (GSFF), the largest short film festival in Scotland. He will draw on works screened on GSFF’s annual Family Animation Programme selected to appeal to all age groups.

      Image of Susana Leret

      Exploring ways in which smells encode memories, Susana Cámara Leret’s focus during her DCN fellowship is on experimenting with organoleptics: the involvement of the sense organs in medical settings and considering ‘health ecologies’ through stories of aspirations. Susana started her work by spending time with neuroscientist Norman Dott’s case notes in the Lothian Health Services Archives. There she uncovered stories from DCN in the 1920s and 1930s, when smell was referred to as a symptom, for instance olfactory hallucinations or varying smell abilities between right and left nostrils.

      Susana has also spent time with Consultant Neuroradiologist Dr Pete Keston who told her about a medical intervention, embolotherapy, which is the intentional blockage of an artery to control or prevent hemorrhaging. A liquid agent called Onyx can be used in embolotherapy and when it is, the patient will have breath with a very distinct smell which can last up to a week. On investigation, Susana discovered that as the body breaks down the carrier substance used to carry Onyx to the brain, it produces a molecule that is expelled through breath. This same molecule has a natural occurrence: the key signalling cue of the Dead Horse Arum Lily, a giant flower that smells like rotting flesh.

      Susana is now exploring molecular landscapes- invisible elements we sense through smell- and the associations we might apply to them to ask: How might experiences from medical settings extend beyond hospital walls into people’s homes and vice versa?

      Other articulations in matters of care

      Susana recently carried out a series of smell-memory sessions with doctors, nurses and hospital staff using cards that had been impregnated with the smell of Onyx. Doctors mentioned having a garlicky taste in their mouths after handling Onyx and nurses talked about knowing an Onyx patient had arrived in the ward because the smellscape had been changed so much by the agent. One nurse said the smell of Onyx reminded her of playing by the sea as a child while another said she could no longer cook asparagus because the smell reminded her of unpleasant experiences on the ward with Onyx patients.  

The molecule found in the smell of Onyx is produced by some sea algae and also when certain vegetables like asparagus are cooked. Illustrating the hyperlinked nature of smell, these stories bring into question how we think about and address medical environments.

      You can see Susana’s work as part of the Thought Collider collaboration exploring substances, spaces and processes of affect at Alt-w LAB, City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh until August 27th.

      Language and Cognition fellow Gavin Inglis


      We recently spent some time catching up with Department of Clinical Neuroscience (DCN) Language and Cognition fellow, Gavin Inglis. The DCN fellowship project aims to promote and showcase the working activity and research interests currently in DCN through a programme of three arts/science fellowships curated by Mark Daniels. The Language and Cognition fellowship’s aim is to work with people with neurological conditions to explore areas of growing understanding and connectivity between the patient experience and scientific research practice. The resulting work will reveal some of the complex narratives found in the DCN and its partner organisations.

      Gavin has a technical background and has a history of studying artificial intelligence and its possibilities in creating interactive fiction. A keen fiction writer, Gavin eventually came to realise he’s more of an author than a technologist and started thinking about creating interactive fiction that has a chance to make a difference. One such project is an online interactive fiction called Hana Feels. Hana Feels allows readers to navigate through interactions between Hana, a young woman who self-harms, and various people around her. The main purpose is to help readers consider how they might have a conversation with someone they suspect is feeling vulnerable. In creating the story pathways for Hana Feels Gavin says, ‘I thought about how awkward people feel when they have conversations outside their comfort zone. And talking to a friend or family member about their self-harm certainly falls outside the comfort zone for most people.’

      ‘I want to make something useful.’

      Gavin brings this same care, consideration and empathy to the Language and Cognition Fellowship. After spending time in the Lothian Health Services Archive, Gavin has been studying old building plans, records and stories to help him understand the history of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and one its pioneer founders, Professor Norman Dott.

      Thinking about bringing cognition into his work with language, he is currently considering some interesting areas for development like:


      • Drawing from stories of patients with Functional and Dissociative Neurological Disorders (FND). After connecting with Consultant Neurologist Dr Jon Stone, Gavin has become fascinated with FND, a neurological movement disorder that means the brain doesn’t send and receive messages accurately and which is not fully understood. Symptoms of FND can present as a range of motor or sensory symptoms in the body such as weakness, movement disorders or blackouts but it’s difficult to diagnose and some patients have experienced accusations of malingering before a diagnosis has been made.
      • Creating from the writings and stories of Professor Norman Dott, whose 40 years of neurological case study notes (around 26,650 notes) have been recently archived and catalogued. Gavin has been especially taken with stories of Professor Dott himself, by all accounts a unique man who, in the early days of his career, recklessly sped around Edinburgh in his car to attend to accidents…caused by cars.
      • Explore ideas around spatial relationships, how the hospital building plans might reveal spatial relationships and help him to imagine telling stories about how a place may have felt in the past.

      ‘The incredible amount of thought going into the hospital is exciting.’

      After spending so much time in archives and by starting to forge relationships with medical practitioners like Dr Jon Stone, Gavin feels more confident now in speaking to staff and specialists. The next phase of Gavin’s work will see him spending more time with people (staff, patients, families) and settling into a new studio and collaboration lab in Edinburgh’s City Art Centre. Inspired by his fellowship research, Gavin has been creating additional pieces of work like an upcoming Unbound event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and mapping ideas for further exploration like a game that can help neurology patients in recovery.

      To keep up with Gavin’s progress and all news from Beyond Walls, subscribe to our email newsletter which is delivered every week.








      Last week, the Art and Therapeutic Design (ATD) programme at Little France was featured on Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth Show (start at 1:05 to jump to our story.) Artist partners Andy Campbell, architect and Director of Dress for the Weather, sculptor Kate Ive and Edinbugh and Lothians Health Foundation’s Arts Manager Susan Grant talked through the ATD programme, its scope and purposes.

      For a lot of people it’s very important for their emotional wellbeing to make the transition to the new building as easy as possible.

      Dress for the Weather will be working on multiple projects in the new building, one of which is a drop in centre where children and families can get respite from the hospital environment when they need it. After looking at the existing drop in spaces, Dress for the Weather was struck at how homely and non-clinical they are. To retain those qualities, they hope to create a connection between the new drop in space and the current space with patients and their families. Andy says, ‘For a lot of people it’s very important for their emotional wellbeing to make the transition to the new building as easy as possible.’ The design will also consider the importance of small things like bringing the kitchen closer to the entrance so a cup of tea is on hand, co-creating wall linings and providing more supportive furniture.

      Kate Ive’s interview provides a detailed description of one of the 19 separate artworks she’s creating for the ATD programme called Old to New. She’s been looking individually at the three services that will be going into the new hospital to identify histories and stories that make them what they are. Working alongside Lothian Health Service archives, she will create informative artworks that will make up part of the wayfinding in the new hospital. As Kate says, ‘Hopefully creating little moments throughout the new hospital that are interesting for all the different people that are going to be visiting.’

      I feel really lucky to have information from surgeons to put into the artwork.

      For one particular project, she’s using fine gold wire to crochet ‘something that will look like a vortex tunnel’ to represent the angiograms that help neurosurgeons place brain stents in the right places. ‘All my projects start with research and trying to get to grips with what makes something special and individual and unique. Trying to identify little hidden intricacies and then working with them to create something that is hopefully going to be quite a beautiful sculptural object.’ Kate was able to spend time with brain surgeons who showed her the equipment they use and how stents are placed in the brain. ‘I feel really lucky to have that information to put into artwork.’ She decided to use the technique of crocheting fine gold wire to create a representation of the delicate platinum brain stents in something resembling a brain. These pieces will be held in cabinets created especially for them by cabinet maker Joachim King.

      Artists were commissioned on quality of work and their commitment to therapeutic enhancement for patients and staff.

      In describing the ATD programme as a whole, Susan Grant says art was commissioned with ‘equal emphasis on high quality and service focussed therapeutic aim.’ Staff and patients were involved where possible in the commissioning process, shortlisting and interviewing. Artists have been selected not only on the quality of their work but also on the ability to ‘engage with people and their commitment to the therapeutic enhancement for patients and staff which can reduce stress, anxiety and provide distraction.’

      Listen to the full story on The Janice Forsyth Show – jump to 1:05.


      Two artist residencies which take as their starting points the relationships and experiences of hospital staff and patients and the impact and dynamics of hospital communities moving and evolving. A visual artist and a writer/director are working organically and relationally across four hospital sites identifying and initiating opportunities for creative dialogue to generate collaborative artistic and cultural projects.


      Hans K Clausen: “As a visual artist I am drawn to the artefacts and aesthetics that dominate hospital environments, from the ‘tools of the trades’ of health care to the visual noise of public information and the material palette of the institution. I’m also interested in the connections between people and place, the ways in which everyone leaves their mark, the unseen traces of human interactions and the importance and uniqueness of individuality amidst a culture that operates on averages, generalities and commonalities. This curiosity has so far led to Hospital Impressions; an art action which will collect hand-pressed impressions in fine porcelain from patients, staff and visitors across hospital sites capturing personal ‘relics of a moment’.”


      Example of Hospital Impressions, hand-pressed impressions in fine porcelain. Photo by Hans Clausen

      Example of Hospital Impressions, hand-pressed impressions in fine porcelain. Photo by Hans K Clausen

      Jeremy Weller: “As a writer and a film and theatre director I have been meeting with staff and patients, listening to their stories and looking for the meeting points between the NHS and the people who want its help. What is this story? What are their stories? The whole world coming through the door. Every story, every emotion, dramatic, compassionate, a very human story of people trying to help…and those seeking help. I hope to get beneath the surface of the relationships and dynamics that exist between people, communities and cultures and build something dramatic and authentic from these experiences.”


      Extract from Jeremy Weller’s notebook. Photo by Hans K Clausen


      Alex Menzies, music fellow, presenting early research findings with collaborator, Florence To. Photo by Chris Scott

      The DCN Creative Research Artist Fellows recently gave a talk at the National Museum of Scotland. Around 100 attendees came to listen to the three fellows discussing their working activity and research interests which involve dynamic arts/science collaboration. It was the first time that Gavin Inglis (Language & Cognition Fellow), Alex Menzies & Florence To (Music Fellow) and Susana Cámara Leret (Design Fellow) spoke publicly about their initial findings and approach and was followed by the opportunity for members of the audience to ask them questions. Further information on their activities will follow over the course of the year.

      Audience listening to research proposals at National Museum of Scotland. Photo by Chris Scott


      From left to right, Gavin Inglis (Language and Cognition Fellow), Alex Menzies (Music Fellow), Florence To (Installation artist, collaborating with Alex Menzies), Susana Camara Leret (Design Fellow), Prof Peter Sandercock, Emeritus Professor of Medical Neurology at The University of Edinburgh. Photo by Chris Scott


      Audience listening to the panel discussion at National Museum Scotland. Photo by Chris Scott

      Introducing: Emily Hogarth. Photo by Chris Scott

      Emily Hogarth is currently producing some fantastic paper cut out graphics in collaboration with Warren Design to enhance the waiting and play areas in the new RHSC. We visited her studio to watch her at work and are excited to see the final graphics and furniture installed in the new hospital.

      Inside look into Emily Hogarth’s studio. Photo by Chris Scott


      Emily Hogarth at work in her studio. Photo by Chris Scott


      Emily Hogarth at work in her studio. Photo by Chris Scott




      DCN research fellows listening to staff describing the history of the Dott Theatre. Photo by Chris Scott.

      The DCN Creative Research Artist Fellows recently were given a unique opportunity to visit the Dott Theatres which are incredible historic surgical theatres currently still in operation at the DCN. The hope is to utilize the spaces as inspiration for a future installation currently under development.

      DCN Research Fellow line up, from left to right: Gavin Inglis (Language and Cognition Fellow), Susana Camara Leret (Design Fellow), Mark Daniels (Curator), Alex Menzies (Music Fellow), Florence To (Installation Artist, collaborating with Alex Menzies). Photo by Chris Scott.


      Fellows exploring the former viewing gallery above the Dott Theatre. Photo by Chris Scott.


      Staff member guiding Fellows through the existing functionality of the Dott Theatres. Photo by Chris Scott.

      DCN staff meeting the Fellows for the first time during their lunch break at the existing hospital. Photo by Chris Scott


      DCN staff kindly gave up their lunchbreak to speak with The DCN Creative Research Artist Fellows about the plans and possible avenues of research within the DCN hospital. The meeting was a really helpful opportunity to discuss early research thinking and discuss how the hospital operates from a staff perspective, opening up new directions to research and creative thinking.


      Susana Camara Leret describing initial proposals to DCN staff. Photo by Chris Scott.


      DCN staff were asked to share information about their role within the hospital to help identify potential areas of research interest. Photo by Chris Scott.


      DCN staff listening to initial proposals by the Creative Research Artist Fellows. Photo by Chris Scott.


      Play specialists reviewing proposals for activity stations by Warren Design. Photo by Chris Scott.


      Warren Design recently met with NHS Lothian play specialists to talk about their toy and game proposals for the play rooms and waiting areas in the new RHSC. NHS Lothian staff offer really valuable insight for design teams into what toys and games work within the hospital context and what things might not be as durable or popular with different age groups. Current proposals include giant fish shaped floor cushions and activity stations with a large selection of interactive features.


      William Warren from Warren Design presenting proposals for the new RHSC play rooms. Photo by Chris Scott.


      Play specialist reviewing design proposals by Warren Design. Photo by Chris Scott.


      NHSL play specialist listening to a presentation of proposals by William Warren, Warren Design. Photo by Chris Scott.

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