“Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come.” — David Suzuki
Climate change is most likely the greatest challenge of our time, but it is only a symptom of the much greater problem that is at the heart of all the contemporary crises of ecology, equality and democracy. It is increasingly apparent that our society is founded on a set of flawed economic and political ideologies that have led to the dominance of the principles of profit, competition, individualism and consumption at the expense of empathy, community and our intimate connection with nature. How can art help us to engage with such big issues? One approach is suggested by Norwegian economist and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes **. It is the air we breathe that links all these issues and every breath we take is shared with all other living things: past, present and future; with every man-made system that sustains our civilisation; and with every natural system that sustains us on this planet.
Every Breath is an exhibition drawing upon the talents of 12 local and international artists and scientists to explore the idea that a greater understanding of our breath and the air may foster a reconnection with each other and the planet. The exhibition ran from December 10th, 2016 to January 29th, 2017 at The Lock-Up in Newcastle.
The following link is to the exhibition catalogue [pdf]:
Or to view the catalogue using the issuu.com online viewer (best viewed full screen and on a computer display):
Exhibition review by Jill Stowell of the Newcastle Herald.
With heartfelt thanks to the team at The Lock-Up for the invitation to curate this exhibition and for their remarkable commitment to contemporary art in Newcastle and to Meryl Ryan for her brilliant curatorial mentoring and support.
Thanks also, of course, to the remarkable contributing artists and others who made the exhibition so successful:
Kevin Anderson • Ian Burns • Dale Collier • Ineke Dane • Sophia Emmett • Greg Fuller • Jason Hicklin • Tracy Hill • James Maher • Katie Styan • Lucy Weaver
** Per Espen Stoknes, “What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming : Toward a New Psychology of Climate Action.”, 2015,