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Breathing Brass explores the intimate relationship between brass instruments and players from the ex-mining area of Bolsover. The dedicated and diverse members of Bolsover’s Brass Bands today include accountants, professors, entrepreneurs, music students and even entire families, stretching generations, with ages ranging from five to eighty years of age.

Clearing the lungs of coal miners was one of the initial functions of many brass bands. Fascinated by the way that a player’s breath moves around an instrument to create sound, Hingley employed a 3, which is normally employed in heavy industry to pinpoint gas leaks. This technique reveals the journey a player’s breath takes as it passes through a brass instrument, simultaneously leaving a trace of their DNA and tarnishing the metal. Through this process the instrument and player permanently alter each other. Photographing the unique markings engraved onto the instruments, Hingley hints at the fascinating journeys taken and told by these instruments, and their players.

Viewers can access Hingley’s dynamic video pieces captured on the specialist FLIR infrared optical gas imaging camera by using this Augmented Reality app when visiting the Breathing Brass exhibition at FORMAT 2017. See for full details.

Photography and Video works by Liz Hingley (
App Design by TECH:SQUAD (

About Liz Hingley:

Liz Hingley is a British photographer and anthropologist, currently based in Shanghai as a Visiting Scholar of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. She holds a first class BA Honours in Photography from Brighton University, and an MSc in Social Anthropology with distinction from University College London (UCL).

During a two-year scholarship with FABRICA, a research and communications organization in Italy, Liz made the work ‘Under Gods, stories from Soho Road’, which was published by Dewi Lewis in 2011 and became an internationally touring solo exhibition. In 2012 she joined Agence Vu.

Liz’s work has been extensively exhibited and published. She has received numerous awards including the 2013 Photophilanthropy award, 2012 Prix Virginia and 2011 Getty Editorial Grant. In 2013 her work ‘End Of Lines’ was published as the book ‘Shanghai’, for the Portraits De Villes series designed by Be-Poles. Her the next book the Jones Family will be published with Xavier Barral in 2016.

Teaching and research are a key elements of her practice and she regularly develops projects with Universities and other educational institutions. Liz is an honorary research fellow of The University of Birmingham Philosophy and theology department and an active member of the Migration Research Unit at UCL.
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