Bristol Launch in Images

by Jordan Collver, Life of Breath Project Administrator


To mark the official launch of the Bristol installation of Catch Your Breath at Southmead Hospital on Tuesday 24 September 2019, members of the local arts and health communities and those who contributed to the exhibition – along with friends, family, and interested passers-by – gathered to preview the display and hear about the exciting programme of upcoming events.

Here is a selection of photographs from the evening, courtesy of the Wellcome Trust.

Guests and had the opportunity to paint their own individual ‘breath’ as part of a participatory artwork by Berlin-Based Danish artist Jeppe Hein and ART 2030.

Breathe with Me is an interactive public art project focused on the universal act of breathing and aims ‘to make the invisible visible’ in the form of painted blue lines on canvas. Participants were encouraged to focus on their breathing as they held the brush and exhaled in one long downward stroke, collectively forming a continuous mural that filled the canvases.

‘Everyone paints the lines of their breath differently, yet each line forms part of a universal whole. The colour is intense and vigorous at the beginning of each stroke, but gradually fades towards the bottom. Each stripe signifies the process of breathing in or breathing out in full awareness.’

Jeppe Hein

Guests gathered round to view the exhibition and listen to speeches from the Life of Breath team.

Principal Investigator Professor Havi Carel introducing the project and its interdisciplinary research into breathing and breathlessness.

Life of Breath team member James Dodd, a clinician at Southmead, reflected on his involvement with the project, its impact on his practice, and the value of combining arts and health.

Durham Project Manager Sarah McClusky provided an overview of the history of Catch Your Breath, starting in Durham University’s Palace Green Library and moving to Royal College of Physicians in London before coming to Bristol – each with its own unique curatorial focus on the themes of the exhibition.

Bristol Exhibition Consultant Catherine Lamont-Robinson explored the artwork featured in the Bristol Southmead display, and offered some perspective on the open, airy architecture of Southmead Hospital’s Brunel Building.

Bristol Exhibition Consultant and Life of Breath collaborator Elspeth Penny discussed the development and ethos of the Bristol events programme.

The evening concluded with the debut performance of Viv Gordon’s theatre show The Book of Jo, specially commissioned for Catch Your Breath.

Image: Sarah McLusky

Inspired by Havi Carel’s book Illness and the biblical Book of Job, the hospital Sanctuary made for a fitting space for the performance.

Image: Sarah McLusky

There will be another opportunity to see The Book of Jo on 25 January 2020, 3pm at The Tobacco Factory. More information and booking will be available soon, so please keep checking our What’s On page.

Image: Sarah McLusky

The Catch Your Breath exhibition will be on display at Southmead Hospital until 26 February 2020, and an additional pop-up installation will be on display in Bristol Central Library in  January and February 2020.

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