Breathe is a permanent sculptural installation by Jasmine Pradissitto at the Camden People’s Theatre in London. It was commissioned by Euston Green Link and is a part of their Wellbeing Walks initiative. The sculpture is made from a pionerring material called Noxtek which absorbs nitrogen dioxide pollution from the air.
The quality of the air that we breathe is a subject close to the artist Jasmine Pradissitto’s heart. Her own son has asthma which lead to a particularly bad attack some years ago. It meant that he had to be placed onto a ventilator for a period of time. It prompted Jasmine to start looking into more sustainable materials for use in her work. The research led her to Alsitek, a group of scientists who themselves were working to develop the same kind of thing.
More recently the quality of air has taken a new dimension. No longer concerned just around air quality in terms of pollution, the pandemic has resulted in a new type of reality. Face masks have become a part of daily life as a means of controlling a virus which is also known to be air bound. It’s focused the mind on air quality in general. In terms of air borne pollution, an inquest investigating the death in 2013 of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah found that this had “made a material contribution” to her death.
Breathe by Jasmine Pradissitto
Against this backdrop is where Jasmine Pradissitto’s ‘Breathe‘ takes shape. The material Noxtek used in her commission at the Camden People’s Theatre is unique. A naturally sourced powder geopolymer. It absorbs nitrogen dioxide from the air. With a view to promoting Euston Green Link’s Wellbeing Walks. This is an attempt to guide people away from some of the more heavily polluted streets in the areas. Walking instead along greener pathways with better air quality and interesting public art.
Need to Inhale
Speaking about her sculpture, Jasmine Pradissitto said Breathe was “inspired by our need to inhale. To breathe and to therefore experience a movement of air and freedom. I’m delighted to see Breathe living amongst the beautiful John Nash architecture of North London. Hopefully encouraging people to lift their heads, pause and take a moment to breathe.”
Upon installing the work, Jasmine said “Over thousands of years, urban progress has driven our evolution. But the cost has been increasing levels of the invisible: air pollution. By pioneering pollution absorbing sculptures such as ‘Breathe’ for the Euston Road I want to make visible the most fundamental of our and our planet’s needs. The one that underpins all the other sustainability goals. Clean air”.
Part of Euston Green Link’s Arts and Culture strategy. Breathe by Jasmine Pradissitto was commissioned in 2019 and devised in partnership with MTArt Agency and supported by Camden Council’s Art Development team. The sculpture was installed on 15 June 2021 and can be found on the Camden People’s Theatre 58-60 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 2PY. Jasmine Pradissitto is represented by the Gillian Jason Gallery.