Irene de Gelder

Spit Crystal and Memory Stone

A short introduction to artist Inés Cámara Leret

Inés’ practice experiments with chemistry, biology and physics. Her works involve collecting breath and making crystals out of saliva. During the process of making these works she has taken on the role of an alchemist that observes, understands, and rearranges a system’s structure.


Spit Crystal - Commissioned by Science Gallery London

Crystal Spit

Thanks to commission received by the Science Gallery London, Inés in collaboration with salivary and crystallography researchers based at Kings College, developed a crystal out of her own spit. In an interview she says the following on the project “I am fascinated by the cultural connotations of spitting—a way to seal the deal, to wish good luck, to get rid of tobacco. In today’s Western society it’s seen as a horrible thing—and was prohibited in our recent history because it was deemed to be vehicle for spreading diseases (…) In Spit Crystal, I’m taking something as ‘unimportant’ as spit and turning it into a more visible construct.”. Right now Inés is a resident at Somerset House Studios, and will be for the next two years continuing her work on crystallising spit. 



Memory Stone - Studio 01, Somerset House London

Memory Stone

 As visitor’s approach a large wooden chest a grid of diffusers invites them to make a donation. One by one, they place a diffuser into a recipient containing the artist’s bodily composition of fat, carbon and water. Then, they breathe. Their breath then leaves a mark on the stone. The stone was then printed continuously until a set of 50 prints revealed the breaths captured in the collection process.


Memory Stone Prints - Fluid Matter: Liquid & Life in Motion, MU Artspace