Posted on 15.11.2010

November 2010 

Breath‘ is a video animation created by artist Effie Coe. Coe has meticulously hand cut the shape of intricate ink breath drawings created by 7 and 8 year old pupils as part of art and science collaboration on air pollution between King’s College London and Invisible Dust. Understanding air pollution is difficult due it being invisible and seems unconnected to the 20,000 breaths that we each take a day. Coe’s input into the study has been to illuminate and visualise the effects of breathing and relate it directly to the lung physiology.

Effie Coe was selected to join EXHALE by Curator Alice Sharp and Professor Frank Kelly, Kings College and Chair of COMEAP, the independent Committee advising the UK Government on the Medical Effects of Air pollutants. She joined a team of scientists and doctors. EXHALE is an ongoing BRC funded research study on the effects of the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) on children’s lung health in Hackney and Tower Hamlets in East London. The outcome of this research will help inform public health and government policies locally, nationally and internationally. Coe’s art activities support the science learning in the classroom on air pollution.

For each of the 20 Primary School sessions Coe devised ink breath drawings where the children blow onto ink through a straw. The drawings produced demonstrate a visual record of the exhalation of air while simultaneously resembling the airways in the lungs. Coe was impressed by the power of these individual breaths en-masse and through the animation the drawings create a complex lung structure which breaths in and out returning the breaths back to the processes that they were both artistically and philologically created.

Breath’ was shown as part of artist Dryden Goodwin‘s rooftop video projection on the Southbank.

Support our work by donating today