Dr. Kate Elswit (Researcher)
Kate is Reader in Theatre and Performance at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her research on performing bodies combines dance history, performance studies theory, cultural studies, and experimental practice. She recently undertook an artistic residency in the Respiratory Unit of Southmead Hospital as part of her larger collaboration Breath Catalogue, which combines choreographic methods with medical technology to externalize breath as experience.
Viv Gordon (performance artist and campaigner)
Viv is a theatre maker and arts activist. Her primary interest is writing and performing engaging work that creatively articulates mental health, abuse and trauma narratives. Her approach includes auto-ethnographic research, verbatim theatre and somatic movement practices. She has recently toured two shows: I am Joan, an autobiographical comedy about trauma recovery and PreScribed, a Feel It Festival
commission animating research into GP wellbeing. With Life of Breath, she hopes to explore connections between breath, mental health, panic and anxiety as well as illness, risk behaviours, judgement, shame and blame.
Dr Phil Horky (Durham University)
Phillip Horky is a Classicist and Philosopher who teaches at Durham University. He works on ancient philosophy and intellectual history. His interest in ancient approaches to ‘breath’ has taken him far away from his comfort zone, into Early Christian and Jewish theology and ancient medical humanities (especially Galen). He has been awarded fellowships at Stanford University, Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, and the National
Dr Rebecca Oxley (Department for Health & Durham University Honorary Research Associate)
Rebecca is an anthropologist with interests including phenomenology, embodiment and feminist explorations of the body. Rebecca’s research will focus on aware breathers and breathing techniques. For her PhD she studied fathers with postnatal depression and works as a Policy Advisor for the Department of Health.
Jules Olsen (voice coach)
Jules Olsen is a bristol based voice coach who facilitates both 1-1 sessions and group workshops for singing and speaking. Her main aims are to encourage more people to have confidence in their voice, understand how it works and use it well and safely. Sessions are informal and flexible to suit different needs, with enough technique work to ensure learning, but an emphasis on fun and enjoyment. She runs Life of Breath’s Singing for Lung Health group in Bristol.
Justin Parsons (British Lung Foundation)
Justin works at the British Lung Foundation as a Service Development Manager covering the South West and South Central regions. He works to influence positive change in respiratory services and seeks to integrate the patient perspective into this process.
Elspeth Penny (arts and health workshop facilitator)
Elspeth Penny is an innovative arts and health workshop facilitator, delivering socially-engaged projects of excellent artistic quality and regularly presenting at conferences. Her research collaboration with Life of Breath includes leading 10 workshops “Letter to my Breath” along with Dr Alice Malpass and a theatre production based on this work is in preparation. Along with Dr Malpass, Elspeth organised Gasp! Exploring Breath through Creative Arts as part of the Being Human festival 2017. Elspeth has written and directed work for the BBC, Anglia TV and theatres such as Battersea Arts Centre and Bristol Old Vic and is an experienced actor in the training of medical students.
Dr David Swann (Sheffield Hallam University)
David is the Subject Group Leader for Product Design at Sheffield Institute of Arts, Sheffield Hallam University. The centre of gravity of David’s design research is global healthcare challenges. His award-winning innovations have been exhibited internationally and form part of the permanent collections of several museums. David’s current project, LifeHacket, in association with Kos Solidarity (a current Nobel peace prize nominee), seeks to transform thousands of abandoned life vests into a trio of products for the island’s refugee community: a backpack, a pillow and a belt.
Dr Megan Wainwright (University of Cape Town and Durham University)
Megan is a medical anthropologist from Quebec, Canada. She worked on the Life of Breath project in the early phase of grant proposal development before taking-up a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences, School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town where she is researching the phenomenology and macro-politics of long-term oxygen therapy in South Africa and Uruguay.
Dr Veronika Williams (Oxford University)
Veronika is a qualitative researcher with a background in respiratory nursing. Her research interests focus on patient experiences of ageing, long-term conditions and health care services, particularly digital health. Much of her research has focused on patient experiences of living with a chronic respiratory condition and digital interventions to support their self-management.
Jayne Wilton (Artist)
Jayne specialises in visualising breath. She uses a wide range of traditional and non-traditional approaches including darkroom processes with drawing, photography, video and sound to capture the usually invisible trace of breath as it moves across a surface. During 2014 she was awarded an Arts Council Grant to work with Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to visualise the breath of staff and patients with COPD which led to a solo exhibition entitled Breathe.
Dr Toby Young (Somerville College, Oxford University and University of Bristol honorary staff)
Toby Young is a composer and researcher from London. Since studying with Robin Holloway at Cambridge, his music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra and many choirs including Westminster Abbey and the BBC Singers. Toby is also a college lecturer at Oxford, and frequently writes for TEMPO, Popular Music and Gramophone, specialising in creativity and aesthetics. His works are published by Faber Music.