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Catch Your Breath exhibition sneak peek

by David Wright, Curator

Hello and welcome to the Catch Your Breath exhibition blog.

We’re just under two months away from the exhibition opening to the public and you’re joining us at an exciting point as we frantically work to make sure all of the different aspects of the exhibition are ready on time.

As a curator, my job is all about bringing big ideas and complex research to life for visitors of all ages and backgrounds, so this exhibition has been a real gift for me, working with academics and practitioners from a variety of disciplines, including medicine, philosophy, anthropology, literature and more.

Without giving too much away, we wanted to offer a little sneak preview of the sorts of things you will find when visiting the exhibition and the many different opportunities you will have to learn about and reflect upon the experience of breathing.

Catch Your Breath will explore how it feels to breathe and the amazing things that our breath allows us to do, such as sing, make music and play sport. It will also explore the experience of people who are affected by breathlessness, often due to a variety of lung diseases. We will talk about how it feels to be breathless and the impact that can have on people’s lives. We’ll also talk about the research that the Life of Breath project is undertaking to help people who suffer from breathlessness.

The exhibition will cover some big contemporary issues like air pollution and smoking and also look at the affect that traditional industries like coal mining have on lung health.

Art lovers will be well served, with lots of work to explore, including painting and sculpture from regular Life of Breath contributor Jayne Wilton. We have also commissioned two new artworks: an interactive sculpture from Newcastle based artist and yogi Helen Collard, as well as a drawing and musical composition from artistic duo Stefanie Posavec and Miriam Quick.

The project research is truly global in its scope and the range of objects on display will reflect this, with 19th Century medical instruments loaned from the Royal College of Physicians of London sitting alongside smoking paraphernalia and musical instruments from China, Japan and the Middle East.

We also have an amazing line-up of films which will be screened in the gallery throughout the day, including a breathtaking dive under the ice with a world record holding Finnish free diver and a stroll down Northumberland Street with a beatboxing busker dressed as Spiderman.

The Catch Your Breath exhibition opens at Palace Green Library, Durham, on Saturday 24 November and will run until 17 March. The exhibition is FREE entry and will have a comprehensive events programme running alongside it. Check back here or visit the Palace Green Library website and social media for further information.

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