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Breathing Worlds

Investigating Cultural Geographies of Breath in 2020

Breathing Worlds

In January 2020, Lucy Sabin, started a digital participatory project called Breathworks with the Modern Art Oxford gallery.

The idea was to find a creative way for people to express their relationship with breathing in a format that could be shared via social media.

Lucy and the curators were not to know that breath would become such a palpable and political topic in 2020, particularly in terms of both global public health and social justice.

Breathworks took off, transforming from an online campaign and exhibition into an events programme and collection of gallery installations supported by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, with Professor Derek McCormack (Oxford University) as principal investigator.

On 13th October an interdisciplinary panel discussion was held about Breathing Worlds, and is available on YouTube (see below).

Lucy’s Practice-Related research in UCL Geography began in October 2020, supported by an AHRC London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) award, and will use arts-based research to investigate the ontology of ‘air quality’.

Her interests and approach are more fully explained at, and she warmly welcomes any enquiries.

At UCL, her work is being supervised by Professor Andrew Barry (Geography) and Professor Joy Sleeman (UCL Slade School of Fine Art).


  • The YouTube link for the 13th October Breathing Worlds panel discussion is here.
  • To find out more about Breathworks, see here.

See also:


'Breathworks', video installation, Responsive Space, Modern Art Oxford. Credit: Lucy Sabin 2020.

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