'YOU TAKE MY BREATH AWAY'
You Take My Breath Away (2016), pig lungs, treacle, cigarettes.
You take my breath away is an artwork inspired by my move from the Isle of Man to London in 2015. When living in the city I became very aware of the thousands of cigarette butts that littered the streets. Gathered along paths and gutters, around bins, benches and bus stops, everywhere I turned cigarette butts lay discarded. Seeing flower pots used as ashtrays and drains clogged with butts led me to question if I was the only one seeing this. I created this artwork to force the viewer to experience some of the aspects of smoking that may not be apparent at first.
Using the lungs of a pig, treacle and cigarettes, I created a video piece. It was not an attempt to send an antismoking message but I was intrigued to see if people would be disgusted by me destroying and abusing lungs compared to how smokers destroy and abuse their own.
When exhibiting the video in 2016, I included thousands of cigarette butts that I had collected. The smell of the butts was overwhelming and incredibly strong. I aimed to overwhelm the viewers senses with the pungent smell, graphic imagery and troubling sound of laboured breathing, much like how moving to London from a small rural island had been an overwhelming experience for me.