Inhale - Exhale
2x Billboards 
Collaboration with Dongni Liang

Produced by Faye Hamlett-Jones
Installed by Linny Venables and Particpants 

Since 2022, At The Library has been investigating the issue of air quality in Bootle and Netherton with community members, artists, and researchers. Engaging in research, At The Library set out to uncover, discuss, and learn about the quality of the air in Sefton through walks and workshops exploring the connection between our senses, human and more-than-human lifeforms, and air quality, collecting data and readings along the way.

Artists Gregory Herbert, Dongni Liang, and Aous Hamoud worked with participants to gather materials through workshops, walks and conversations and voice their thoughts and concerns about air quality. Each artist has used this process to develop artworks reflecting on air quality and their engagement with the community.

Ivan Gee, Senior Lecturer in Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, also joined the informal meet ups to explain the science behind our air quality readings, answer our questions, and demystify the language around air pollution. From looking at lichens as biological indicators of air quality, to recording experimental scores using breath, and imagining ourselves in the shoes of our more-than-human neighbours, each artwork explores different aspects of how air quality impacts us and our surroundings.

During the project, questions were raised about who has access to information about our local air quality and the accessibility of the language used: Who has the power on issues which affect our health and natural environment? discussing these questions through a community poster making workshop, sharing solutions such as green barriers to reduce pollution, commuting via walking and cycling through green spaces, less industrial infrastructure and preserving our much loved green spaces, such as Rimrose Valley and the canal.

Using the Air Quality Index, we took regular readings which fluctuated from good to hazardous levels depending on the time of day, amount of traffic, and location. Netherton in particular has no regular monitoring in place, despite being situated right next to major junctions and highways.