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Letters in the Leaves

Thu 3 Oct 2019 @ 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Come for a rest in Brunel Building’s breezy indoor garden, take a seat, and meet ‘gardeners’ arts and health specialist Elspeth Penny, Life of Breath researcher Alice Malpass, and artist Louise Jenkins. Elspeth will guide you to create a letter to your breath using her letter-writing rack, unusual pens, homemade inks, and inspiration. If you time your visit right, green-fingered Louise will be around to help use your letter to make a breath capsule.

No experience of letter writing required. All abilities are welcome!

This is a drop-in event between 10am and 4pm. Whilst it’s not essential, we’d appreciate it if you could book in advance: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/letters-in-the-leaves-tickets-69295072427





Travel information

Southmead Hospital is served by over 12 bus services which stop either on site outside the main entrance to the Brunel building, or very close by. For quick and easy route planning visit www.traveline.info.

You can park in the Brunel Multi-Storey Car Park or on Monks Park Road. For further information on car park charges and alternative travel, please visit the Southmead Hospital travel information page.


About Elspeth

Elspeth Penny (MA Cantab, MA UEA) is a writer, director, and arts and health specialist with the Life of Breath project. She is a writer, director and creative producer for Arts Council funded play Silva Lining’s Care Plan trailer. Elspeth runs workshops for Durham University and the University of Bristol Life of Breath project, Nailsea Town Council, West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL), and EHCAP. She loves handwriting, letters, teaching creativity, wilderness, and dance.


About Alice

Alice Malpass is a mid-career NIHR research fellow at Bristol Medical School. Her research focusing on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for a range of health issues, including people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Alice uses a variety of qualitative methods (cognitive interviewing, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic observation) found in anthropology. Within the Life of Breath project, she uses cognitive interviews to explore the ways people living with respiratory conditions interpret questions differently on respiratory questionnaires, as well as the application of questionnaires and lung functions tests in clinical settings. Since 2016, Alice has collaborated with Elspeth Penny on an arts and health project where participants are invited to write a letter to their breath.


About Louise

Louise Jenkins is a mixed media artist, often combining texture, light and shadow to create surface patterns on to form, working with techniques that allow for patterns to evolve incidentally, through the process of making. Suspended Breath was commissioned by Dr Alice Malpass and Elspeth Penny from the Life of Breath as an installation in response to the ‘Letter to the Breath’ workshops. The piece draws on Louise’s own observations of the letters as well as illustrating common themes within them, allowing ‘Breath” as something that is usually invisible, to be held and seen in a visible form. Along side her creative practise Louise has spent over 15 years studying and working with different forms of bodywork and massage and has a strong interest in health and well being, this in turn often informing her artwork.


Brunel Building (Atrium)
Southmead Hospital
Bristol, Bristol BS10 5NB United Kingdom
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