Title: Collective Breath
Work: Filmed performance by Neville Gabie
Conceived and directed by Neville Gabie, the work was commissioned by WOMAD art in the Park 2014 – curators Jeni Walwin, Tammy Bedford
Duration: 06:45 (edited version) 49:45 (full version)
Format: 19:6
Camera/Audio: Stuart Ward
Edit: Stuart Ward
Production date: 2014
Production country: England UK

Collective Breath

During four days of the WOMAD music festival [2014] Neville Gabie and his team collected the breath of 1111 [one thousand, one hundred and eleven] people in individual 3 litre bags. Transferred into a single high-pressure tank, each contributor was also asked to suggest where the ‘Collective Breath’ ought to be released. The selected suggestion was an air quality monitoring station situated on the western-most edge of Europe on Ireland’s West coast; Mace Head Research Station. Collective Breah was released through an instrument built by Neville Gabie intended to sound like a collective cry, played out over the Atlantic Ocean.

The work developed out of Neville Gabie’s year long residency with the Cabot Institute, Bristol University, a multi- disciplinary research body specifically focusing on climate change. The commission for WOMAD is curated by Jeni Walwin and Tammy Bedford.

Biography: Working in a range of media from sculpture to film, photography and performance, Neville Gabie has established a national and international reputation for his practice. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa [1959] and with an MA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art, his work can be found in many collections including the Art Council and Tate Gallery.
Key to his practice is a sustained engagement with ‘place’ and ‘situation’ in a range of contexts from the remoteness of an Antarctic Research station [British Antarctic Survey 2008/09] to one of China’s fastest growing cities, Guangzhou [Vitamincreativespace / British Council 2005] He was also appointed as the artist in residence by the Olympic Delivery Authority for two years during the construction of the London Olympic Park 2010/2012 Other residencies and projects include; Up in the Air [5 year project initiated and run by Neville Gabie and Leo Fitzmaurice in a North Liverpool Tower Block 1888 / 2005] MOMART artist in residence Tate Liverpool 2000; Arts Council International residency programme. International Art Space, Kellerberrin, Australia 2006 and Modern Art Projects, in Richmond, South Africa 2012 and 2014. Cabot Institute Bristol University Artist in residence 2012/2013, funded Leverhulme Trust. He is currently developing two commissions in Cambridge and has recently completed a film working with a crofting community in North West Scotland.


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