Celebration of air in Hackney

We can’t live without it, and now a group of artists have set up a month-long festival celebrating that vital element: air.

Breathe: a celebration of air is currently running at Stoke Newington’s The Old Church.

The festival includes work from artists such as Ansuman Biswas, Helen Chadwick and Sam Lee.

Rachel Millward, the festival’s director and curator, said that people can “reflect on the theme of this amazing force that’s more powerful than us.”


Participants at Breathe Credit: The Old Church

Millward invited local schools, faith groups and cultural centres to plant TILT – an outdoor display of paper windmills, which will be exhibited throughout the time of festival.

The festival is centred around VOX, a cubic sculpture created by local artists’ group Output Arts. VOX transfers wind movements from the nearby New Church’s tower to the installation, generating sound and lights.

Andy D’Cruz, of VOX, said: “We’ve always wanted to do a project within our area and when we heard that the Old Church art centre was opening we were really excited about participating and doing something on our doorstep.”

 VOX is open to the public everyday from 1pm to 2pm.

On March 3 the church welcomed children and their parents for Tots Tunes: tea + a gig, to provide a very first musical experience for young audience.


Credit: The Old Church

Saied Silbak, a musical performer for Tots Tunes: tea + a gig, said: “I’ve never had the chance to play in front of such a young age… I think it’s really nice, it opens the eyes and ears at a really early age.”

The festival will finish on March 20 with Kite, a 24-hour-long drop in singing event hosted by Ansuman Biswas.

Video and reporting by Sian Filcher and Wojciech Fediow

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