Breathe for Ella – South Bank, London
On the 10th anniversary of the passing of 9-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah – the first person in the world to have ‘air pollution’ listed as a cause of death – a new iteration of artist Dryden Goodwin’s iconic ‘Breathe’ animation was projected large-scale on London’s South Bank in her memory.
Illuminating the side of the Rambert Building, aptly positioned next to the busy Waterloo Bridge, were animated images of Ella’s mother – the extraordinary clean air campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah CBE – ‘fighting for breath’.
This 20+ metre high spectacle, taken from a sequence of over 1,300 new drawings by Goodwin, was produced by Invisible Dust and opened by Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn. ‘Breathe for Ella’ lit up the night sky from dusk till dawn for three nights from the 15th February 2023, viewed by many thousands of Londoners.
Rosamund Adoo-Kiss-Debrah CBE has spent the last decade striving for clean air justice for her daughter and all that come after her, through the vital work of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation – founded in her daughter’s memory.
The event sought to encourage support for ‘Ella’s Law’ (The Clean Air Bill) – new proposed legislation on air quality in the UK that is set to be debated in Parliament in February. The Law would establish clean air as a basic human right for all and require local authorities to bring air quality up to minimum WHO standards within five years. Government figures currently estimate that well over 5% of all deaths in England are attributable to air pollution – around 30,000 people annually. Passed through the House of Lords, Ella’s Law is now making its way through the House of Commons.
“For the last 28 months of her life, Ella had hundreds of attacks. While she was in and out of hospital, Ella was always worried about other children who were suffering like her, and for that reason we fight on. My kids and I hope Ella’s Law will be successfully passed by the House of Commons, as it will save lives and be a fitting way to honour her memory. My kids and I will continue to learn to live without Ella, but we take courage in the knowledge that her painful death will end up saving millions.” – Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah CBE
Many hundreds of people joined Invisible Dust, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi Debrah CBE and the Ella Roberta Family Foundation along with Dryden Goodwin and a range of special guests for the dramatic night projection, music and speeches in honour of Ella’s legacy. It was a packed, powerful and emotional night – with campaigners, scientists, policy leaders and concerned community members from across London and the UK coming together to #BreatheForElla, show their support for #EllasLaw and call for a clear air future for all.
Breathe for Ella: A new iteration of Dryden Goodwin’s ‘Breathe’ series
Last year, acclaimed artist Goodwin spent time with Rosamund and other local clean air campaigners for air pollution focused campaign Breathe:2022, also produced by Invisible Dust, recording and drawing them as they move through a laboured breath. The end result – an extraordinary 1,300 new drawings – took over Lewisham in the form of large-scale zoetropic posters and as a final animated projection on the Old Town Hall in Catford, opened by the Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn. The work was a climate emergency commission for We are Lewisham, London Borough of Culture 2022.
With the support of the Clean Air Fund this animated work was shown on the South Bank for the first time – bringing the vital conversation around air pollution right into the heart of the capital; with additional thanks to Randox Health, Mayor of London and the Ella Roberta Family Foundation.
Search #BreatheForElla and show your support for #EllasLaw – calling for a clean air future for all.
Our supporters: Randox Health
The set up of the ambitious projection wouldn’t be possible without the generous provision of the Randox Health Waterloo testing site for our tech install, and we are enormously grateful for their support. With over 40 years’ experience in the global diagnostic industry, Randox lead the way in developing and supplying innovative diagnostic solutions across the UK and Ireland.
Following decades of pioneering research & development, Randox offer an unrivalled range and combination of tests to facilitate effective disease management, screening, and treatment. The expansion of targeted health tests includes a Chronic Lung panel for COPD and CF patients.
Track health data across a range of key health areas including nutrition, digestion, hormone, muscle health and more in clinics located nationwide. Unique access to health data in this way empowers individuals to make positive lifestyle changes to help prevent illness.