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This exhibit was part of the exhibition FLEX which ran from 17 January – 24 November 2023.


The world is changing and we are changing, life can at times seem to be increasingly harder to navigate.

How can we meet the thresholds of our capacity to cope and come out the other side?

In this installation, you are faced with disarray. You’ll cut your path through a deconstructed landscape. Mangled structures, hanging cables, and swinging lights amplify stress.

Breathe embodies the journey from adversity to resilience. It uses breathing as a vehicle to travel between the stages of the installation.

Take a turn, and find yourself on the side. Exhale, and note the environment you are in. How does it make you feel? Are you responsible for your own resilience?

The path to resilience is taken with every breath. Find yourself on the other side. Breathe.
The journey through stress and adversity is manifested in breath, but it is also the mechanism called upon to cope.
But you can’t do it on your own.
The systems and structures around you impact your ability to move through stressful situations.
Are you responsible for your own resilience?
To inform this gallery, we explored this topic with a few researchers at UniSA.
For Professor Nicholas Procter (UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences), resilience is a word that he doesn’t use much. In mental health it can be quite a controversial term as it can shift responsibility for change onto individuals. Rather than creating resilience, his focus is to create safety and stability, connection, comfort and have a life worth living.
Professor Bruce Johnson (UniSA Education Futures) and Dr Melanie Baak (UniSA Education Futures) run a project on How Schools Foster Refugee Resilience. Their work focusses on the interplay between the social and cultural context of resilience. Resilience is a mix of context and agency. In their research they spoke with many children who are refugees who reject concepts that would characterise them as victims and traumatised. Their paper on their resilience research can be found here.

Transcript for Breath here.

Audio description:

Visitors reading the entrance text to BREATHE
Visitors reading the entrance text to BREATHE


Visitors walking through BREATHE, a gallery with anxiety inducing lighting and sound
Visitors walking through BREATHE


View of calmer part of BREATHE which is lit in pink lighting


BREATHE close up shot of videos and lighting hung in gallery