Bringing Breathlessness into View exhibition

In collaboration with artists and local people living with breathlessness, we have created the Bringing Breathlessness into View exhibition, which aims to raise awareness of what it is like to live with breathlessness, and enable people to access support to manage breathlessness well.

Our research shows that patients with breathlessness feel poorly understood, stigmatised, and less able to participate in life. Hull is an area with high rates of respiratory disease and yet breathlessness management is not routinely offered.

This multi-media mobile exhibition has been co-created by local people living with breathlessness, photographic and sound artists and health researchers. The exhibition has striking images and engaging sound recordings to help people understand what it is like to have breathlessness.


The exhibition will go on display across Hull and the East Riding. We hope visitors will find the exhibition thought provoking and develop a greater understanding of the difficulties it causes.

Additionally, we are giving out information on how to live better with breathlessness so that people know there is something that can be done.

This project received funding from Hull City of Culture 2017, the Wellcome Trust and the University of Hull. For more information please read our blogs for the Asthma + Lung UKBritish Journal of General Practice and the European Association for Palliative Care.

Listen to the BBC Radio Humberside interview with Joe Hakim, Ann Hutchinson, Anna Bean and Janice Tonge talking about using art to show what it is like to live with breathlessness.

The making of the exhibition

We want others to know what it is like to have breathlessness. We have worked together with people living with breathlessness and local artists to co-create this exhibition.

Making of the Bringing Breathlessness into View exhibition

About the participants, health researchers and artists


The participants are: Else Johnson, Shaun Winter, Peter Hardman, Sue Clyne, Janice Tonge, Sue Dobson, Linda and Eric Broughton, June Pitt and Brian Lamb.

A huge thank you to the participants of this project, without whom this exhibition would not have been possible.

Dr Ann Hutchinson

Dr Ann Hutchinson is a Research Fellow at the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at Hull York Medical School. Working with local people and the artists, Ann has led the development of this exhibition to show what it is like living with breathlessness.

Professor Miriam Johnson

Professor Miriam Johnson is Professor of Palliative Medicine at Hull York Medical School and Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull. Miriam is also honorary consultant palliative physician to Scarborough General Hospital and Saint Catherine's Hospice, Scarborough where she set up and continues to lead one of the UK’s first integrated palliative care services for people with heart failure.

Dr Rob Mackay

Dr Rob Mackay is a Reader in Music at the University of Hull where he is director of HEARO (Hull Electroacoustic Resonance Orchestra) which is a collective of artists at the University of Hull, dedicated to public presentation and engagement with sonic arts and electronic music, ranging from concert and gig performances, to gallery installations, public interventions, talks, and workshops.

Visit Rob Mackay's website

Anna Bean

Anna Bean (aka Bluebeany) is a freelance photographic artist. Her photographic work recalls a long tradition of staged narratives and theatrical role-playing in art. She utilises the camera and various tools of the cinema and theatre, such as makeup, costumes, props, and scenery, to create dream-worlds filled with Gothic horror and surreal humour. She is inspired by cinema, theatre, television programmes, old masters and music. Within her work she is interested exploring the possibilities of the transformation of the everyday. She also quite often appropriates existing images and re-imagines them in a new context. Her most recent work has been experimenting with transforming her 2D created worlds into 3D immersive theatrical experiences allowing the audience to walk in and become part of these imaginary spaces.

Visit Anna Bean's website

Would you like to host the exhibition?

If you would like to host the exhibition online at a conference or training event, we welcome you to get in touch with us.

At the exhibition, Dr Ann Hutchinson can chat with visitors to help them find out about living with breathlessness. We also provide useful information about where to get support and tips to help themselves at home.

To request to host the exhibition please email Dr Ann Hutchinson (

We also welcome you to use materials from our exhibition – you may print or download content from this exhibition for your own personal, non-commercial, informational or scholarly use. Please note any other use is prohibited in accordance with our legal terms.


[© University of Hull 2019] We acknowledge artists Rob Mackay and Anna Bean for use of their artwork in this exhibition and promotional materials.