Invisible Dust

London | Sunday 17 February
Pollution level: Moderate

Photos from Houses of Parliament talk


Dryden Goodwin, Joan Walley MP, Prof. Frank Kelly and Alice Sharp. Photo Nina Manandhar

On Tuesday 16th October Dryden Goodwin and Professor Frank Kelly, King’s College London discussed their  collaboration, looking back across the river towards the Breathe video screen on St Thomas’ roof from within a Committee Room in the House of Commons.

The Breathe Parliament talk was hosted by Joan Walley MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee together with the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST).

Houses of Parliament talk, photo Nina Manandhar

An audience of 80 people shared their stories and viewpoints related to air quality in London, and many asked probing questions about the dialogue between the artist and scientist.  Goodwin pointed out that Monet had painted his famous series of works of the skies above the Houses of Parliament from a room in St Thomas’ hospital where Breathe is taking place. This had attracted Goodwin to the location as a setting for his video projection in the first place. Kelly stressed that it had been a “refreshing” experience for him to work with Goodwin, both because he learned to explain and view his own work differently, and also because he witnessed how his scientific findings were received and re-translated.  Goodwin emphasized a more haptic, diagrammatic interest in the body, especially in the way breathing involves a collapsing and expanding of the human form, saying, “there is a matrix of scale in Breathe.”

Other notable comments were made by representatives of Friends of the Earth, the Clean Air Campaign,  a BBC journalist and students from Universities in London and elsewhere.  In closing, Walley was very supportive of the art-science relationship in aiding our understanding of the environment and underscored numerous recommendations that she believed to be significant steps toward mitigating London’s current air pollution levels, and echoed Goodwin, Kelly and others in suggesting that both educational and awareness campaigns might be effectively run through new social and mobile technologies.

Frank Kelly and Monet slide, photo Nina Manandhar


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