A Sharp Intake of Breath…

Each month during 2016 The Lancet features the work of Jayne Wilton on the front cover.  The photograph of the February edition features her work, Round, which renders in glass the dynamic forces of the in-breath.  Jayne’s glass installation work was featured in our show Visible Traces in May.

The fragility of glass echoes the fragility of the breath and it’s transparency echoes the invisibility of it’s generating force; yet these structures are far from invisible.  Jayne wanted to see if it was possible to create an outbreath and then to breathe back into the molten form, therefore giving shape to the force and dynamics of the in breath.

She explains, “The concept behind this work has resonance with the exploration of breath in classical texts such as those under consideration in the Life of Breath Project (www.lifeofbreath.org). Here Philo speaks of a hierarchy of dispositions in relation to the soul/breath: ‘He [God] bound some bodies by tenor, others by physique, others by soul, and others by rational soul.  In stones, and logs which have been severed from their physical connection he created tenor, which is the strongest bond.  This is breath which turns back towards itself.  It begins to extend itself from the centre to the extremities, and having made contact with the outer surfaces it bends back again until it returns to the same place from which it first set out.  This continuous double course of tenor is indestructible.’ This idea of a breath turning in on itself was one of my core considerations as were ideas of liminality, the tensions between push and pull, interiority and exteriority. In making this body of work it has been fascinating to uncover organic patterns. This work, in particular, formed by the pressures of the breath bears similarity to the lungs that facilitate its essential gaseous exchange within the body.”