Artwork Spotlight: Cian Oba-Smith

The aim of our art and design programme has always centred around improving patient experience in hospital environments, which are typically seen as anxiety and stress-inducing. Aspects of our arts programme remain temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, and for the wellbeing of patients and staff. The artwork in our hospitals, however, remains on display and we hope that our existing interventions at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital continue to promote healing and positivity for patients and staff during these unprecedented times.


Cian Oba-Smith is an award-winning London based photographer who was awarded a photography bursary by CW+ and Willis Newson in 2014. He attended the University of the West of England and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Photography.

These photos are from the Medicinal Flowers series, which can be found in Surgical Admissions at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (5th Floor). The series of ten photographs were taken at the Garden of Medicinal Plants in the Chelsea Physic Garden.

The photographer has captured the flowers and plants with a soft focus, giving them a dreamlike, magical quality. Oba-Smith chose Chelsea Physic Garden for its vicinity to the hospital as well as for the obvious medicinal link.


  1. Salvia Aurita (African Blue Sage). This particular plant is used to treat colds, flus and bronchitis
  2. Salvia Scabra. Used as a nutritional aid for infants.
  3. Echinacea Purpurea (Eastern Purple Cornflower). Used to treat colds and yeast infections, and to stimulate the immune system.