breathe • rest • play

Abi Ola • Mira Hirtz • Naomi Harwin

20 July - 20 August 2023

breathe • rest • play is an end of residency exhibition showcasing works by artists Mira Hirtz, Abi Ola and Naomi Harwin. In a world that places a constant demand on productivity, this exhibition is dedicated to individuals in need to breathe, rest and play – as the title conveys. Whether you are going through a challenging time, living with disabilities, chronic illness, or facing mental health challenges, this exhibition is for you.

The works on display and its accompanying workshops invite you to hold space for yourself and others, both present and absent in this online space. This means opening your heart and granting yourself permission to let go of all judgments, even if only temporarily. Alongside the exhibited works are prompts that encourage you to interact with them and share your experiences/pieces to be displayed in the Open Gallery. Through this, the exhibition hopes to foster empathy and compassion, showing that strength and evolution can come from sharing a space. 

Let this exhibition be a space where you meet yourself and others with complete openness, honesty and love. A space for you to breathe • rest • play, a time to heal.


breathe • rest • play is best experienced on desktop and on landscape mode on tablets and mobile devices. For full information and accessibility notes, please visit the Info page.


A horizon, a curve, a sigh

12 – 1pm, Saturday 29 July 2023
Register for A horizon, a curve, a sigh

Where do you feel softness within your body right now? How would you express this in a gesture? In a drawing? In a text? 

In this workshop by Mira Hirtz, we will explore how movement, drawing and writing relate to each other, and how they can express what our bodies feel like. We will work with simple experiments, sensations and perceptions of yourselves and our private homes.


Family portrait collage

2 – 3pm, Wednesday 9 August 2023
Register for family portrait collage workshop

In this collage workshop by Abi Ola, you will create portraits of your family members using magazines and old clothes found at home. The workshop is inspired by the artist’s practice which centres around family portraiture and patterns. 


breathing spaces

Mira Hirtz

If the connective tissues in our bodies are stressed and hard, then movement is blocked. The flow of information, nutrition and oxygen changes and so do our thoughts, our mood and way of being-in-the-world.

As part of her residency with In Transit, Mira has been researching creative tools that address the harsh pace of stress, tiring states of chronic health conditions and the never ending pressure for productivity.
 She named one of such tools ‘breathing spaces’. Breathing spaces are spaces in which we soften, rest, heal and practice a tender relationship to ourselves and others. This breathing space consists of drawing imagery, formulating movement scores and collaging not only shapes but also the gaps and emptiness in between.

Moving and practising with others is key in Mira’s research. She is grateful to her colleagues and friends who join her in movement and reflections.

Mira Hirtz, breathing spaces (detail), 2023. Courtesy the artist.

Yellow, red and blue flowers in a vine against a cyan blue background
Pink flower and cyan blue triangular patterns against yellow background

African Textiles, William Morris Designs and Emojis

Abi Ola

Take a moment to observe yourself and your environment. Are there any patterns that stand out, whether they appear in a room or on someone’s attire? Consider the emojis you encounter on your screens—what significance do they hold for you? 

During her residency, Abi Ola produced a series of digital drawings inspired by William Morris and African Textile which are installed on the litter bins on Fore Street in Edmonton, London, commissioned by Enfield Council, Fisher Cheng, and R.E.A.C.T..

She has also created two paintings and an animation, continuing her exploration on family portraits, emojis and patterns.

Abi Ola, Selection of William Morris and African Textile inspired designs, 2023. Courtesy the artist.

Finding Spaciousness

Naomi Harwin

During her residency, Naomi made sculptures for an exhibition at Bankley Gallery, Manchester. She explored the convergence of sound and sculpture, ideas of slowing down, noticing and seeking out connections through interaction.

Finding Spaciousness is a series of digital drawings which shapes are silhouette images of the sculptures. The work aims to cultivate a curious awareness of space and the forms we see in our everyday movements through the world. 

You are invited to breathe and slow down, rest in the spaces in between and play with the forms you find. Engage interactively by hovering over the drawings – the interactive feature only works on desktop.

Naomi Harwin, selection of digital drawings from Finding Spaciousness, 2023. Courtesy the artist.

Blue digital Drawing, structure with four legs from bottom perspective
Blue digital drawing, ramp-like structure

Open Gallery

I often hear my footsteps when I go up the stairs because the library is so quiet. I walk this steps almost every week but do not notice that they have so many shapes. - Jirka F, Prague
Black links and texts against white backgriund
feels like drums, staccato sensations and a bit tingly, probably due to my neck ache - Christine, Manchester
Digital collage - Natalie Lau, Hong Kong
Colourful form of a human meditating against a white background with blue aura surrounding the body
Khairi Hamidi, Kuala Lumpur
Tree with green leaves and red bark

tram to my home – Eliška Hovorková, Prague

Black lines formed in to tree branch against a brown background
breath - tree branches - water flowing - roots - Aaron S, London