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.
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
Principal Investigator Professor Havi Carel introducing the project and its interdisciplinary research into breathing and breathlessness.
Durham Project Manager Sarah McLusky 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.
Inspired by Havi Carel’s book Illness and the biblical Book of Job, the hospital Sanctuary made for a fitting space for the performance.
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.
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.