Journal of Medical Humanities 41 (1):41-51 (2020)

This article discusses a Leverhulme residency undertaken by the author Julie Brixey-Williams in 2003–4 at the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland. Notions of medical visibility were explored through practice-led investigations under the umbrella title, Traces of the Invisible, that concentrated on making concrete, visible responses to the hidden or intangible elements of the anesthetist’s working life in areas such as sleep, breath, pain and genetic markers. Rosebud is a unique nine-foot concertina bookwork created after reading the entire story of The Sleeping Beauty into an anesthetic machine. This essay expands upon the concepts and material responses that led to the making of the book with particular reference to how the book’s structure forms a relationship to language and the body-as-site, whilst operating as a sculptural object that raises the visibility of the anesthetic profession. Fairy tales and their telling, including stories of enchanted sleep, transformational qualities, magical languages and shaman healers, will be examined alongside.
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DOI 10.1007/s10912-019-09597-3
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