Following The Breath

Road Particulate Matter
Rotherhithe Tunnel, 2021

Used Cigarette Butts
London pavements, 2021

Following The Breath


Exhi­bi­tion in the Bar­bi­can Conservatory

Artist Sam Win­ston has spent the past few years explor­ing how Lon­don, its peo­ple and plants breathe. Trac­ing a web of con­nec­tions, he has inves­ti­gat­ed how the com­plex rela­tion­ship between the urban envi­ron­ment and the breath man­i­fests in sub­stances and liv­ing organ­isms as dis­parate as the aquat­ic plants of London’s water­ways; par­tic­u­late mat­ter emit­ted in the fumes of petrol and diesel engines; dis­card­ed cig­a­rette butts; and the sur­vival respons­es of local trees such as oaks and Lon­don planes.

Win­ston col­lect­ed spec­i­mens from each of these exam­ples and trans­formed them into a range of inks, with which he drew images that reify the syn­er­gy between envi­ron­ment, breath and cre­ativ­i­ty.

We are liv­ing through one of the most breath-aware peri­ods in human his­to­ry. Across the spec­trum of com­mu­ni­ties and ways of life, peo­ple are real­is­ing how keen­ly the breath needs our atten­tion, pro­tec­tion and care. The cur­rent envi­ron­men­tal cri­sis and the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic have high­light­ed the sig­nif­i­cance of this vital but vul­ner­a­ble bod­i­ly func­tion…

Text by Ellen Mara De Wachter

Road Par­tic­u­late Mat­ter Rother­hithe Tun­nel, 2021

Par­tic­u­late mat­ter col­lect­ed inside the Rother­hithe Tun­nel under the Riv­er Thames is the tan­gi­ble residue of London’s exhaust fumes. A refined assailant, it is the pri­ma­ry ingre­di­ent in an ink that paints a fine-grained, almost pho­to­graph­ic, image. As pre­cise on paper as in its abil­i­ty to pen­e­trate the tis­sues of our lungs where, almost imper­cep­ti­ble, it can have dev­as­tat­ing effects.
Road par­tic­u­late mat­ter 1000ml of dis­tilled water

Along­side the Bar­bi­can Exhi­bi­tion 18 artist folios were pro­duced with an essay text by Ellen Mara De Wachter and orig­i­nal Ink draw­ings are on 230gsm Zerkall mould made print­mak­ing paper. Artist prints are on 170gsm Awaga­mi Bam­boo organ­ic paper 59cm x 60cm. Bound at Book Works, Lon­don. Pro­duced in 2022 by Arc Artist Edi­tions, London