air

The Life of Breath: History, Texts, Contexts

10-12 July 2018, Durham Breathing is a basic physiological process, yet also has deep cultural, spiritual and personal meaning. However, although breath and breathing are such resonant and urgent subjects, they have never been the subject of systematic cultural or … Read more…

Public Address System

7 Dec 2016, Newcastle  Sited in the five storey stairwell of Broadacre House, Public Address System is a sound installation initiated through the ensemble performance of a psycho-physical breath practice called brahmari. The audience are invited to walk through the … Read more…

Breathe Easy Durham Dales at Breathing Space

Bev Wears and Rebecca Oxley

The header photograph was taken by Paul Waine, and shows Bev Wears of the British Lung Foundation and Rebecca Oxley, post-doctoral researcher on the Life of Breath. Paul is a member of Breathe Easy Durham Dales, and has written a poem … Read more…

Restoring Breath: Questions, medical advancements and the importance of bystander participation

Bleeding hearts

Tina Williams, PhD student on the Life of Breath project, writes a post prompted by the inaugural lecture of Prof. Jerry Nolan (audio recording now available), Honorary Professor of Resuscitation Medicine in the School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol: Loss. … Read more…

Reflections on vaping 1: An introduction to the world of cloud-chasing

Vaping competition

This post is the first of a series on vaping and vape tricks by Rebecca Oxley, post-doctoral researcher in anthropology on the Life of Breath project. Rebecca is currently looking for people to share their stories about living with breathlessness.  E-cigarettes can make the breath … Read more…

‘Out of his nostrils goeth smoke’: whales, whaling and breathing fire

In the second of a series of posts on cetaceans (see also ‘The cetaceans may give rise to some perplexity‘), Project Manager (Bristol) Jess Farr-Cox writes: Whaling abounds with breathing, breathlessness, air, death, myth and song. Factory whaling boats were … Read more…

The First and Last Breath: reflections from palliative & neonatal care

Butterfly

Kate Binnie, yoga teacher and music therapist, writes:  In his brilliant book Being Mortal (2015) Atul Gawande calls for all healthcare professionals working with patients at the end of life to “help people to end their stories on their own … Read more…

‘With wide lungs’: smoking, wind and air in W. Somerset Maugham’s The Merry-Go-Round

Jess Farr-Cox, Project Manager (Bristol) writes: The Merry-Go-Round is not as well-known as other works by W. Somerset Maugham, such as Of Human Bondage and his enormous output of short stories. Despite reading Maugham for many years, I had never … Read more…

Arthur’s ‘labouring of the lungs’ in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King

Elsa Hammond is a PhD candidate at the University of Bristol, working on breath and death in the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Tennyson and Thomas Hardy. She writes: In accordance with Arthurian legend, Tennyson’s Arthur does not die absolutely … Read more…

Singing for Breathing

Phoene Cave

Vocal coach, community choir and workshop leader and music therapist Phoene Cave writes: In 2008 I answered an advertisement for a singing teacher at Royal Brompton Hospital in London. The original idea was inspired by Bronchial Boogie in Oldham, to … Read more…

The breath between: art, film, mortality, and AIR

Drawing Breath

Jenny Chamarette (writer, curator and film scholar and Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London), and Anna Cady (visual artist and curator working within the disciplines of film, film installation, photography and text whose work has been exhibited … Read more…