‘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…

‘The cetaceans may give rise to some complexity’: breathlessness in whales and dolphins

Whales spouting

In the first of a series of posts on cetaceans (see also ‘Out of his nostrils goeth smoke‘, Project Manager (Bristol) Jess Farr-Cox writes: As discussed in previous posts (see All his heart was cold), Aristotle was fascinated by creatures … 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…

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…

‘I need security to survive’

Kate Binnie, yoga teacher and music therapist, shares a memory of a hospice patient: Paula wakes early every day and spends time in bed, praying. “I’m a good Catholic girl” she wheezes up at me from her chair, grinning naughtily. … Read more…

Air and climate: an historical introduction

Stormclouds

Mike Emanuel, Research Associate at Oxford Brookes University, Department of History, Philosophy and Religion, writes: In the fifth century BC, Hippocrates, in ‘On the Nature of Man’ and ‘Airs, Water, Places’ saw health as a matter of equilibrium within the body, and illness … Read more…

‘An ongoing presence’

Sky

Newly-appointed PhD student on the Life of Breath project Tina Williams writes: The patient experiences her illness from within, as a transforming experience impacting all dimensions of life […] She does not compartmentalise the disease, nor does she understand it … Read more…

Taking a deep breath

Aeroplane in flight

Project Manager (Bristol) on the Life of Breath project Jess Farr-Cox writes: The first meeting of the core project team (Breathing Space) was in October 2014, in the respiratory unit of Southmead Hospital, Bristol. We were filmed throughout the day by Barry Gibb … Read more…