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Breathing Life

The process of breathing and sealing over 300 individuals’ breath into each of the glass bubbles was developed by the artist in consultation with Inscape Tasmania, a not-for-profit organisation providing inspiring and inclusive artist-led activities within Royal Hobart Hospital.


The majority of breath donations took place in the Wellington St entrance foyer and the Cancer Support Room of RHH where staff, patients and visitors were invited to stop and participate when attracted by the glass bubbles on display.


Breath donations also took place at three other venues with strong links to RHH: Karadi Aboriginal Corporation Health Link, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Health Service, and Ronald McDonald House Hobart.


Each participant filled in a short questionnaire seeking responses to three key questions, with their answers to be displayed along with their photograph on a dedicated page of the documentary website:


  1. Tell us about your relationship to Royal Hobart Hospital - what brings you here today?

  2. As you think about the Royal Hobart Hospital community, is there something you love or appreciate about it, or hope for it?

  3. Is there something that you, personally, are hoping for at this time?



Participants were asked to choose a glass bubble and given a paper drinking straw to insert through the hole in the top of the bubble. They were then invited to think about what they were hoping for and photographed while gently blowing their breath as a symbol of life and hope into the bubble.


After a few moments the straw was removed and a small glass disc with clear sealant was placed over the hole to ensure their breath remained sealed inside the bubble.


At this point it often seemed that something significant had taken place, with donors sometimes appearing visibly moved or quietly reflective as they sat cradling their breath-filled bubble on their lap. Somehow it felt a transformation had taken place – what had once been simply an empty glass vessel had now become a container of something quite precious, or indeed, sacred. 

Chapter 2: Breathing Life


Breath Donor Galleries

You are invited to visit the pages of each of the 300+ breath donors on this site, where you can view their photos and written responses. Click on one of the thumbnail galleries below to start browsing or use the search box to enter a name or bubble number.


Breath Donation Videos

The  following breath donors generously allowed us to film their breath collection experience. Click on one of the thumbnails below to watch their video.

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Breath Donation Venues

Thank you

to the following organisations who generously opened their doors to participate in and support this project:

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Royal Hobart Hospital

The Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) is the second oldest hospital in Australia, celebrating its Bicentenary in 2020, and is Tasmania’s largest hospital. It is the major referral centre for Tasmania and provides care across Southern Tasmania. A wide range of services and treatments are provided by the hospital, including inpatient and outpatient facilities.


Ronald McDonald House Hobart

Ronald McDonald House Hobart gives children receiving treatment the best gift of all – their families. Our warm and supportive home-away-from-home provides the whole family with a comfortable place to stay and peace of mind, knowing they can stay together and close to the Royal Hobart Hospital.

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Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

The TAC is an Aboriginal community organisation developed in the early 1970s and funded by the federal government since 1973. It represents the political and community development aspirations of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

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Karadi Aboriginal Corporation

Karadi is an inclusive Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation, providing leadership in the sector and serving Aboriginal people of our catchment and their families in achieving strong cultural identity, good health and quality of life.