Breathing Blue

Breathing Blue is a wearable artwork created by artist Laurence Payot with patients and researchers and in partnership with the Public Programmes Team and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

People with breathing conditions and researchers at the hospital were invited to share their personal stories – about everyday struggles and positive resilience – which can be heard, layered and intertwined, in three inflatable sculptures. Visitors are invited to let the sculpture wrap around them, listen to choir of voices, and reflect on the invisible and precious substance that is air.

The shape and pattern of the sculptures were inspired by people’s drawings of the lungs and the air they breathe, from a thin and crunched fabric to large inflated spirals, like depleted lungs, coming out of the body to reach for breath. Inside the sculptures, at chest level, a fan keeps a constant flow of air as if representing the invisible exchange between the lungs and the environment.

People’s stories were weaved together into a poem created by artist Scott Farlow. They were recorded and edited by musician Ulysses Alvarez.