Breathing Again R&D

Biomedical Research Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham 2021

Breathing Again focuses on a self-organised residency based and embedded at the Biomedical Research Centre, University of Nottingham. This R&D project develops new methodologies for making artworks, focusing on people engaged in major new trials of a Kaftrio, a new Cystic Fibrosis (CF) treatment, made by the company Vertex. Trials have shown that the drug might help 90% of people with CF. In June 2020, NHS England announced it would be available for use as soon as it was licensed by the European Medicines Agency.

Kaftrio promises a step change in treating CF. This includes impact of treatment on patients, their reaction to & experience of how treatment is applied, the effect on families & relatives’ own experience. Hadzi-Vasileva through observing methodologies & techniques of medical teams, doctors, nurses & researchers by shadowing them in the context of Kaftrio treatment; collecting visual materials from trials (as permitted), including digital data, records & documentation; considering technologies being used (shape, form, function, components) & the rooms & spaces where activities take place such as clinics, labs & MRI rooms.

This residency funded by the Arts Council of England and supported by the University of Nottingham has given Hadzi-Vasileva an opportunity to explore how clinical staff engage with each other (formally & informally) & with patients & families, while they are engaged in trials of a new drug Kaftrio, which promises a step change in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis.

This research will enable Hadzi-Vasileva to develop new work, responding to the residency, through relationships she has established, which will enable her to creatively explore this potentially miraculous moment for staff, patients and families. She is in the process of designing new ambitious works, also considering ethical challenges around biological materials & patient confidentiality.

Supporting organisations:
  • The Queen’s Medical Centre
  • The Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre
  • NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre
  • Cystic Fibrosis Trust
  • Vertex inc
  • Biodiscovery Institute
  • Arts Council England