AN EXHIBITION based on research from the Life of Breath project, and funded by Wellcome Trust, is being carried out by researchers at Durham and Bristol University.

The project focuses on breath and breathing – how it feels to breathe and the amazing things that our breath allows us to do, such as sing, make music, play sport, yoga, meditation, etc.

The project and exhibition, at Palace Green Library, Durham, from November 24, 2018 to March 17, 2019, also explore the experience of people who are affected by breathlessness, often because of lung diseases. We will talk about how it feels to be breathless and the impact it has on people’s lives. We’ll also talk about the research that the project is doing to help people who suffer from breathlessness.

The exhibition will cover some big contemporary issues like air pollution and smoking, and also look at the effect that traditional industries like coal mining have on lung health.

Star items on display include historic stethoscopes, anaesthetic masks and inhalers on loan from the Royal College of Physicians of London, as well as sculptural works from artist Jayne Wilton. We also have a pair of shorts on loan from extreme athlete Wim Hof. Known as the Ice Man, Wim has developed a breathing technique which allows him to complete incredible feats – he wore these shorts (and nothing else) while climbing Kilimanjaro.

The exhibition contains two newly-commissioned artworks: one is a communal music instrument called Ohmerometer II created by Helen Collard and Alistair MacDonald, the other is a combined design and musical work called Sleep Songs, created by the artists Stefanie Posavec and Miriam Quick. The works are created from data collected from the artist’s breathing patterns as they slept.

We will be showing some amazing films, including one called Johanna, directed by Ian Derry, about a diver who swims under ice with no oxygen support.

Another one we are showing comes from Roundhouse Productions in Newcastle and is about a beatboxer who dresses as Spiderman and busks on Northumberland Street.

There will be lots of opportunities to find out about your own breathing, including breathing exercises and games to try out.

The exhibition is FREE and will suit visitors who have a long time to spend as well as those just popping in.

There will be lots of events and activities happening around the exhibition, including weekly chair yoga and meditation classes.