Waiting to Exhale
“The story goes that in 44 BC in Rome, Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of his own senators, crumpling to the floor with a final gasp. This last breath contained around 25 sextillion (that’s 25 followed by 21 zeroes) air molecules, which would have spread around the globe within a couple of years. A breath seems like such a small thing compared to the Earth’s atmosphere, but remarkably, if you do the math, you’ll find that roughly one molecule of Caesar’s air will appear in your next breath.”
Reading this essay stemming from the book “Caesar’s Last Breath” by Sam Kean, led me to think about my recently departed mother’s last breath. I had been in the room with her when she passed. My siblings and I had all taken turns keeping vigil in her home. It was a particularly dreadful experience bearing witness. I was heartbroken and simultaneously relieved for her. So, this work was created during a scholarship residency at Urban Glass in New York City where I began printing portraits with glass powder in a medium through silkscreen and then melting the printed glass into hand rolled glass sheets. A blown glass teardrop captures that last breath held up by a series of ceramic forms, culminating in an altar form reminiscent of the make shift shrines and displays I had grown accustomed to in the home I was raised in.
 Lloyd, James. Are we really breathing Caesar’s last breath?, Science Focus, BBC, 13 July 2017