Hi, welcome to Middle Moments. My name is Naomi Harwin, the artist who made this work. I’m a petite white woman in my early 30s with short blonde hair, and I wear round red glasses. 

I invite you to take 15 minutes to share this middle moment with me, where you will be guided to slow down, play and interact with the pieces, leaving your mark for the next visitor. You don’t need much today, just some willingness and some time.

Let’s begin standing facing the white wall by HOME’s theatres where there are several blue sculptures installed. Come into a position that feels right for you today. Keep your eyes open with a softened gaze if you’d like, and your arms hanging loose by your sides. 

The abstract sculptures are of three shades of blue – a vibrant ultramarine that has been described as  ‘the bluest of blue’. Then we have a medium hue (so a tinge of white on the ultramarine), and then a calming soft blue, a bit like a clear sky. They are mostly made of MDF, with a navy blue felt standing out from the rest. The sculptures vary in size and shape – some are big, almost waist height, whilst the others are small about the length of a forearm and some even go as small as my fist. The pieces have sharp, defined edges which seem a lot like precisely cut paper. They have holes and indents. The layers of blue intersect, creating a play of tones, while the perforations cast intricate shadows on the wall. 

Start by taking slow, deep breaths—inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Sigh it all out and release any tension. Allow your breath to find its own natural rhythm. Notice each inhale as it fills your lungs and expands your belly, and each exhale as your belly contracts and air moves up through your lungs and back through your nostrils or mouth. Walk closer to the wall. 

Direct your attention to the second piece from the left on the wall, just past the soft blue lines that seem to create a short winding path. There is a navy blue felt hanging vertically from a rectangle with a trapezoid shape removed at the bottom middle. Across the felt are zig zag perforations with three geometric, abstract holes starting from the top right, middle left and bottom right. Depending on how the last person has left it, the felt with three geometric holes may be hanging lower or higher on the wall.

Trace your fingertips along the felt – going up, left, down as you inhale and exhale. Feel it, breathe with it. What does it feel like? Is it smooth to your touch? How do you know that something is smooth or rough to your touch? Were there any textures or shapes that you’ve encountered today that remind you of it? I actually took the zigzag patterns from manhole covers around Manchester. And the geometric holes, like the rest of the shapes you will discover, are outlines of shadows that I photographed and collected on walks around the city. 

Keep breathing as we move on to the three small abstract shapes beside the felt (resembling clouds that are about the size of my fist), transitioning from the lightest blue at the top to the vibrant ultramarine . Unhook the rope from one of the cloudlike shapes. As you pull or let go of the rope, listen to the sensations on your skin and really notice how the shadows shift and dance. What patterns are formed? When ready, loop the rope to another small abstract shape.

Breathe in and breathe out. Follow the air all the way in and all the way out. Mindfully be present moment by moment with your breath. 

Move slightly to the right side of the wall. There’s a large abstract sculpture with precise, sharp edges resembling paper cuts. It has cross-shaped indents on its surface, resembling petals. There are long lines protruding on the left and running through the sculpture. Glide your fingers along these lines, exploring the surface and tracing around the edges, perhaps circling the indents. Take a moment to feel each detail. Notice the contrast in textures between this and the felt you touched earlier. Do these shapes or marks remind you of something familiar from your surroundings or experiences? Could you have guessed that I made this sculpture based on the shadow of a blue bridge going over Blackfriars Road opposite Mount Street in Salford where I live. 

Now touch your hands, have them open and feel one hand at a time. Feel the sensations on your skin as one hand is touching the other.  Notice where your breathing is at this moment and just settle into the space.

When you’re ready, head to the far right of the wall, just beyond the three sculptures that appear to form a cohesive set. There’s an X-shaped piece on top of a long, thin vertical line – a bit like a windmill but it’s actually a wayfinding sign at the Woden street footbridge.  A small light blue layer sits atop it, similar in shape. This layer features circular, concave indentations like an inverted bubble wrap. Take a moment to feel the concave surface. Try turning this clockwise, then anti clockwise. Like this one, several sculptures on this wall can be rotated. Have some fun exploring which ones are mobile and which remain fixed. 

As we are nearing the end. I’d like you to imagine you’re holding something precious, cup your hands if you can or however holding means for you. You get to choose. You can hold a precious wildflower, the dancing light of a shadow, the warming feeling of your hat or scarf, the soft murmurs of people around you.  How you can hold a bunch of fleeting moments, a ball of middle moments? If you’re not sure what to hold, think about your journey here today, and something that might have caught one or more senses. Give it some meaning if you want to or just some love or some playful energy. Now take three final conscious breaths and on your final exhale, sigh it out. Slow down and find a sense of calm and peace. If you don’t feel that peaceful or restful feeling, don’t worry. It’s ok. 

You may continue interacting with the pieces, leaving your mark for the next visitor. Let your curiosity guide you and really notice the patterns, shapes and textures. Thank you for your time, for being here, for slowing down and sharing this middle moment together.