What's on

Anna Berry: Breathing Room

WORLD PREMIERE. Free event, no ticket required

Saturday 10 - Friday 30 July
10.30am - 5.30pm each day, last entry at 5pm 
FREE: No need to book


Breathing Room is a new installation that moves - a beautiful and delicate large-scale kinetic artwork that people can move through.

Framed by an intriguing mechanical exterior, the illuminated tunnel-like structure invites audiences to travel through its gently moving interior for a unique multi-sensory immersive experience. Tens of thousands of paper-like cones line the tunnel and will move as if the structure is breathing, powered by ingenious mechanics, creating an otherworldly experience.

Anna Berry is a UK artist who creates socially and politically-conscious work in non-gallery environments. She enjoys creating large installations and often works with paper and movement.

Read more: annaberry.co.uk

How is Breathing Room constructed?

The exterior frame of Breathing Room is made from recycled bicycle parts, which have been bolted together on-site in Queen's Court. The 28,000 cones are clad onto the frame on-site. The mechanism is simple battery power.

People in Milton Keynes were paid to make the cones. Due to lockdown, these were made by people working at home, hand-rolling cones at their kitchen tables.

The cones were added to the exterior frame by 15 Festival volunteers who helped the artist between Wednesday 7 and Friday 9 July.

Artist and engineer, Clive Doherty has collaborated with Anna Berry since 2014, from the first iteration of Breathing Room for MK Fringe Festival, through to this present touring piece. Clive is the engineer and fabricator behind the kinetic and mechanical parts of the piece. He is the creative force behind the design and making of Milton Keynes company Festive Road’s growing collection of giant pedal-powered structures and puppets. 

Is it paper? 

No. Even though the cones resemble and behave like paper, they are made from Tyvek, a durable, fully fireproof synthetic material that 100% recyclable and used for a variety of commercial uses, including protective clothing.

However, the first version of Breathing Room used paper donated by charities, civic bodies, interest groups, and individuals in Milton Keynes, including copies of degree certificates, and old schoolwork! Artist Anna Berry is known for working with paper, which she enjoys for its fragile and ephemeral nature.

Tyvek has many repeated uses – it is not a single use material. It has a second life in products such as park benches and playground equipment. The cones in Breathing Room will be used on the artwork as it tours for the next 2 years. After this, the cones are being returned to the manufacturer to re-use and so will not go to landfill.

Breathing Room will run from 10.30am - 5.30pm each day, in the open air Queen's Court within centre:mk. Last entry at 5pm. This event is not ticketed, so there is no need to book. Please check back here for any updates before the event. Festival Stewards will be on hand to assist and guide you through the experience.

Relaxed Visiting Times and Access Information is below.

Covid-19 Safety
The safety of our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff is our highest priority. As well as following all government and industry guidelines, we’re working closely with specialist safety advisors to ensure all our event locations are Covid-safe and secure for everyone. We will update more information between now and the Festival

Relaxed Visiting Times: 

Thursday 22 July:  2.30 – 3.30pm
Sunday 25 July: 10.30am – 11.30am
Tuesday 27 July: 10.30am – 11.30am 
Thursday 29 July: 2.30pm – 3.30pm  

To book for a Relaxed Visiting Time please contact access@stables.org
These relaxed visiting times are designed for people with autism spectrum conditions and their families so they can enjoy the arts together in a stress-free environment. They are also suitable for people with sensory conditions or learning difficulties. Breathing Room has been designed to be accessible and has a relaxed attitude to noise and movement, with gentle light and sound effects.  

Access information:

The Festival aims to be as accessible as possible and welcomes people with disabilities. We always welcome specific access enquiries - you can email us at access@stables.org or call the Box Office on 01908 280800.

Assistance Dogs Welcome
Assistance Dogs Welcome at this event
Audio Described
Audio Described
British Sign Language interpreted
BSL interpreted
Disabled parking available for Blue Badge holders
Disabled parking available for Blue Badge holders
Drop Off and Pick Up Point available
Customer Drop Off and Pick Up Point is available
Easy Read available
Easy Read available
Relaxed performance or tour available
Relaxed performance or tour available
Seating available
Seating available at this event
Disabled toilets available
Disabled Toilets available
Wheelchair Accessible event
Wheelchair Accessible
Family Friendly event
Family Friendly event
Move Around To Experience Event
Move Around To Experience
Outdoor event
Outdoor Event
Speech Free
Speech Free

Additional Access Notes

Relaxed viewing sessions are available to book, designed for people with autism spectrum conditions and their families so they can enjoy the arts together in a stress-free environment. They are also suitable for people with sensory conditions or learning difficulties.

Breathing Room has been designed to be accessible and has a relaxed attitude to noise and movement, with gentle sound effects.   

Breathing Room is included in Guided Tours:

Relaxed Tour on Tuesday 20 July: relaxed-guided-tour
BSL Tour on Saturday 24 July: bsl-guided-tour
Audio Described Tour on Saturday 24 July: audio-described-tour

Breathing Room is Co-Commissioned by The Stables for IF: 2021 
Made in collaboration with Clive Doherty. Commissioned and supported by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists, with funding from Arts Council England. Created in partnership with 101 Creation Space. With thanks to Festive Road.