Press release

Wellcome Collection explores 'The Nose'

Wellcome Collection opens its doors late on Friday 17 May for ‘The Nose’, a captivating night of talks, performances, interactive events and drop-in sessions, dedicated to this most ‘overlooked’ of body parts. The Nose runs from 19.00 to 23.00 and is free to all.

In auditorium talks, ear, nose and throat surgeon Simon Gane will explore the controversial theory of 'quantum smell' while historian Julie Anderson will take visitors on a pictorial journey through some of the most fascinating, impressive and alarming noses in history. Pigeon Theatre and cognitive neuroscientist Colin Lever will be performing 'The Smell of Envy': part physical theatre, part lecture investigating the neuroscience of smell, space and memory.

Want to give hay fever the slip? A garden from the Royal College of Pathologists will highlight the plants to grow to cause less sneezing - although plants such as wallflowers, lavender and ornamental grasses are best avoided, there are still a wide variety people can plant for a low-allergen garden. Visitors will be able to watch artist Neal White's film and read his book 'Ott's Sneeze', reflecting on the first ever piece of copyrighted motion picture - showing Thomas Edison's assistant sneezing.

Ever wondered about getting a nose job? Facial aesthetic surgeon Lydia Badia will be on hand to discuss all aspects of rhinoplasty, and a team of nose surgeons will guide visitors on a live video tour of the nose - from smell to nosebleeds via snot, sinuses and our ears. Photographs of artist Joshua Sofaer's remarkable collection of false noses will be on display; visitors will be able to explore the transformative power of the false nose and capture a photo souvenir in a photo booth.

Drop in to meet chemist and showman Andrea Sella for an olfactory bombardment and see musician Ansuman Biswas for a chance to learn the nose flute and be part of London's first nose flute choir. Meanwhile, those who can’t fit their nose in the glass when sipping champagne can discover a creative solution with artist Brian Lobel.

Simon Gould, curator of 'The Nose', says: "Whether you want to discuss nose jobs with a plastic surgeon, learn to play the nose flute or get to grips with the quantum mechanics of smell, join us for a sociable Friday evening. Who knows what you'll discover!"

Ken Arnold, Head of Public Programmes at Wellcome Collection, says: "We look out over our noses every day, and yet we often forget just what extraordinary attributes they really are. The Nose will encourage us think again and inspire a re-appreciation, delving deeper than just aesthetic appeal, for this prominent facial feature."

Follow your nose and join us for an evening not to be sneezed at, with 'The Nose' at Wellcome Collection, from 19.00 to 23.00 on Friday 17 May. Entry is free. Drop in any time. Talks will be ticketed; tickets will be available on the night from 19.00. Bar all night.

Visitors can also see 'Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan', Wellcome Collection's spring exhibition, which brings together more than 300 works for the first major display of Japanese Outsider Art in the UK.

Wellcome Collection is at 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE. Nearest Tubes are Euston and Euston Square.