Stop where you are and take a deep breath.
How does it feel?
What does it make you think?
How many breaths have you taken today without even noticing?
Everyone breathes. From a baby’s first cries to a dying gasp, breath is an ever-present companion on the journey through life. Breathing isn’t just a biological process. It enables us to communicate, to speak, to create music. It can have deep cultural and spiritual meaning. It can be a marker of both health and illness.
In 2018 we created an exhibition called Catch Your Breath to help us tell the story of the Life of Breath project and to explore how our relationship with and understanding of the breath has developed over time, from ancient philosophers who equated breath with life itself to the latest advances in medicine. The exhibition combined objects, visual, sound, interactive materials and events and launched at Palace Green Library, Durham (24 November 2018 – 17 March 2019) before moving on to the Royal College of Physicians in London (2 April – 21 September 2019) the Southmead Hospital Bristol (24 September 2019 – 1 January 2020) and Bristol Central Library (10 January – 27 February 2020). Catch Your Breath also toured as a pop-up exhibition in the Autumn of 2019.
The exhibition has a stand-alone website with numerous blog posts, photos, videos and audio content to help you get a sense of what the experience was like.
During the 2020 lockdown, the original curator and designer decided to create an online version of the Durham Catch Your Breath. Now you can visit the exhibition, no matter where you are in the world!