Invisible dust - Making the invisible visible

Bringing artists and scientists together to visualise the risks air pollution poses to the air we breathe

Invisible dust brings together artists, scientists and technologists with the aim of creating a visual language that communicates and gives people a level of awareness about complex issues such as air pollution or climate change.

Some of the ways they have highlighted issues such as the invisible air pollution is through animations, films and workshops. One project entitled EXHALE was undertaken by artist Effie Coe, working with a team of doctors and scientists to come up with classroom based learning about ‘lung philosophy.’ They developed the idea around the fact that we breathe up to 20,000 times a day and we do not take into account some of the invisible pollutants we are inhaling. Working alongside a number of children across 20 primary schools in London ‘ink breathing drawings’ were produced. This entailed children blowing ink through a straw and creating a visual representation of breathing. Coe used the drawings to create an animation showing a complex lung structure which inhales and exhales.

Following on with the theme of breathing, Invisible Dust also brought together scientist Professor Frank Kelly with artist Dryden Goodwin who went on to produce a thousand drawings of a five year old boy (his son) inhaling and exhaling. The drawings were translated into a video installation that was displayed on top of St Thomas’ Hospital in London reminding us of our relationship with the air that we breathe. It was a visual reminder that ‘air sustains us but also insidiously corrupts and damages our young.

'Breathe' by Dryden Goodwin - Video documentation from Dryden Goodwin on Vimeo.