Breath in Visual Art
by Sarah McLusky, Project Manager
There are a lot of artworks in our exhibition – from ancient cave paintings to original commissions – demonstrating the ways that art and breath have been intertwined for millennia. Some artists, like Jayne Wilton and Andrew Styan, have sought to capture and visualise the breath. Others, like Paulina Siniatkina, have used art to convey the experience of breathlessness.
Jayne Wilton, Helen Collard and Miriam Quick visited Durham on Friday 1 February 2019 to participate in a symposium, each giving a short talk and then joining a discussion with each other and the audience. Then, on Saturday 2 February 2019, they hosted a unique free workshop where they ran an interactive session allowing participants to try out different techniques, ask questions and explore how breath might inform their own creative practice. Find more details about both events on our ‘What’s On’ page.
Last year Jayne Wilton gave a lecture on ‘Breath in Visual Art’ as part of our ‘Arts of Breath’ series. For a taster of these events you can listen to highlights of this lecture and an interview with Jayne in this podcast.
Jayne Wilton has spent the last 10 years exploring ways of capturing and visualising the breath. The exhibition features a number of her pieces including the sculptures ‘Happen’ (2012) and ‘Breath which turns back towards itself’ (2015) and copper plates from a series created with respiratory patients.
Helen Collard is the creative mind behind the ‘Ohmerometer’, an original interactive artwork which allows visitors to make music with their breath.
Miriam Quick specialises in the creative visualisation of data. The exhibtion features two works she created with collaborator Stefanie Posavec. In ‘Sleep Songs’ (2018), they tracked their breathing patterns as they slept to create graphic and musical artworks, and in ‘Air Transformed’ (2015), they turned air quality data into wearable accessories.