Spiritual traditions around the world have long used the breath as a tool for transformation and awakening. In a series of paintings commissioned by PEM, British artist Zarah Hussain explores the universal sanctity and necessity of breathing. Mining her own reflections and experiences, she integrates the personal stories of members from our community who have, in some way, experienced the physical trauma of losing their breath or its transformative healing power.
Moving through inhalations and exhalations, as well as the silent spaces in between, Hussain’s work — produced in London while the artist was under lockdown due to COVID-19 — utilizes the universal principles of mathematics and geometry to guide us into moments of deep contemplation and stillness. The exhibition also features an animation and soundscape that slows visitors down to activate an awareness of and deeper connection to the breath.
IMAGE ABOVE: Zarah Hussain, Air I, 2020. Acrylic on cotton paper. Photo by Zarah Hussain.