Letters to my Breath etc: arts-in-health workshops and research

Join in celebrating and reinventing the hand-written letter. Relish the imperfections. Physical letters inform us in so many ways: they are about the trail we leave and the future we wish to shape.

If you’d like to book a Scent event or workshop? Email us on elspeth@2buproductions.co.uk

Check out updates on Facebook: @2buproductions, and @sentbyscent, visit www.scent.buzz 

Emotion Coaching Autumn 2017

In Autumn 2017 I had a lot of fun running a workshop for GP Dr Sarah Temple and her inspired Emotion Coaching project at Frogmary Farm near Yeovil. For more, see link:


Writing a letter to your breath 2017

November 24th: Being Human Festival. An afternoon of activities about the breath. Our breath in our hands…. great to see this new Life of Breath project blog post: Dr Alice Malpass writes about the @BeingHumanFest event “Gasp!” with Elspeth Penny exploring how an installation artist, puppeteer, musician, writer, dancer & choreographer use breath/breathlessness in their work. https://lifeofbreath.org/2018/01/gasp-making-breathlessness-less-invisible-through-the-creative-arts .

Burnley: Thanks to Janet Janet Swan: Reading. Story. Voice at the wonderful Burnley Singing For Lung Health Group. Dr Alice Malpass and I loved running a workshop there in November for our www.lifeofbreath.org research project. Fifteen singers wrote letters to their breath, as well as started Christmas tree decoration letters.

Alice and I taking the air in the Peak District, on the way to our workshop in Burley

September 2017: Super generous contributions to my Festival breakfast talk https://www.bristolfestivalofpuppetry.org/…/festival-breakf…  at The Bristol Festival of Puppetry on 7th September, and a great turn out.

My notebook is now full of observations and ideas for a play which is emerging… Co-hosted with puppeteer Chris Pirie, we explored puppets, breath, performance possibilities, croissants, grapes and coffee in the Tobacco Factory foyer. At the table were cast and director from The Broke ‘N’ Beat Collective who were fresh from a victorious show the night before. Also Dr Alice Malpass from Life of Breath, musician Paul Bradley, my yoga teacher sister Diana, and a 90 year old local lady who turned up half way through with some puppets and told us some funny stories. Thanks to Emma and Lucy from Puppet Place for organisation and helping Puppet Place.


Meeting my on screen ‘husband’ story-teller Stuart Packer for the first time, just before the launch of the David Mackie short film Breakdown that we were both in https://vimeo.com/206720872

July 2017: Some fantastic feedback and follow up opportunities after our conferences this summer for Dr Alice Malpass and I: we spoke in Swansea and Bristol about our innovative arts and health work using the letter writing workshops. Looking forward to developing our ideas some more.

Alice and I caught on the camera by a festival photographer as we check out the festival programme.

Looking up at the ceiling in the old Swansea library


Reading Room, School of Architectural Glass

Freshly published!! Letter to Your Breath: podcast by Dr Sarah McLusky
Project Manager, Life of Breath https://lifeofbreath.org/podcast/letter-to-your-breath/ … @Story4Health

Dr Alice Malpass and myself will be at Swansea’s Storytelling for Health Conference, Saturday 17th 2017 June, 11-13.00 Reading Room, School of Architectural Glass, Alex Building. Title of session… Creative Writing Workshop. We’ll be looking at narrative in our project Letter to my Breath www.lifeofbreath.org, and some of it will be practical. We’re presenting alongside two other creative writing workshops – Sarah Goodey from Healing Words and Vicky Field from The Poetry Practice… exciting!

Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference
19,20,21 June 2017 Bristol UK….Dr Alice Malpass and I will be there on Tuesday 20th June.
We’ll be talking about our work together for the Life of Breath Project, including Writing a Letter to my Breath.

It’s the day for Policy, acute care, medical humanities, arts therapies. Ours is on at
16.00- 17.00 and is one of the Parallel Sessions
2R Waterside 2 Therapeutic writing
Life of Breath project; creative writing with refugees; and for therapeutic purpose

Penny, Elspeth
Elspeth Penny works with performance, film, animation, word and image to create ideas and stories; she’s had commissions or support from BBC 2, Anglia TV, Menagerie Theatre, The Wellcome Trust, The Arts Council and The Heritage Lottery Fund. She’s also an Arts-in-Health practitioner, running her letter writing project www.scent.buzz. For ten years, she’s worked as an actor/consultant in medical communications training. Dr Alice Malpass is a Mid-career Research Fellow, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol. With a background in anthropology Alice is currently part of the multi-disciplinary Life of Breath project www.lifeofbreath.org


MAY 25 2017 Bath Spa Uni,Thank you to Dr Pamela Karantonis
Senior Lecturer in Acting (Voice)
Newton Park Campus, Bath Spa Uni, for facilitating and hosting a Letter to the Breath workshop yesterday, with Creative Corporealities group (and for the delicious coffee). It was a balmy day, but everyone was very productive. Dr Alice Malpass and I so enjoyed working with your group, and some smashing letters were created. I hope some further collaboration will come out of it.


Elspeth is excited to have been asked by Dr Alice Malpass of Bristol University to work with Alice and Dr Rebecca Oxley of Durham University on a research study about our relationship with the breath. It’s part of a larger project called Life of Breath, funded by the Welcome Trust. Elspeth will be running ‘Writing a letter to my breath’ workshops.

For information on the Life of Breath project

Newsletter extract written by Rachel Lowrie, English Teacher, for Churchill Academy in the February 2017 newsletter:


On Wednesday, we were lucky enough to welcome Elspeth Penny and Dr Alice Malpass from the Life of Breath Project into school to run a workshop for 12 students. During the session, students learnt to become more aware of their breathing and to be thankful for its help in allowing us to live, laugh and sing. Following a series of warm up activities, including consideration of the lost art of letter writing, the students culminated the process by creating a note to their breath. Some employed a quill to record their thoughts, others painted their ideas with homemade beetroot ink and sprayed their paper with the scent of rose or pine. There was not a biro in sight! Using the abundance of tools and resources that were on offer, their masterpieces both touched and inspired the group.


Healthy City Week 2016

Elspeth’s running several workshops:

1. Letter to my Bones (or other body parts!)

Saturday 15th Oct at 1.30 at Wellspring, Barton Hill:

Elspeth Penny, with her letter-writing rack, unusual pens, inks and inspiration invites you to write, create or draw a hand-written letter to your own bones (or another body part such as liver, brain, lungs, heart). No one will be correcting your spelling or grammar here, but hopefully you’ll see your health in a new light and remember how enjoyable it is to write a letter. Everyone welcome.”

This is part of… http://bristolgreencapital.org/events/opening-community-day-at-wellspring-healthy-living-centre

2. A Letter to my Pain & Duet of One, a collaboration with Raquel Meseguer.

Friday 21st October at 5-7pm at Hours Space, 10 Colston Yard Bristol BS1 5BD www.hours-space.com


A free two-part workshop, for those with an invisible disability or long-term pain condition: this is your space. It is the chance for you to invite someone you know (a friend, partner, sibling) to experience a two-part workshop with you.
In A Letter to my Pain, Elspeth, with her letter-writing rack, unusual pens, inks and inspiration will guide you to write, create or draw a letter to your pain, or to your body (placing the person in pain first).
In Duet for one, Raquel will then invite you and your plus ones to slow down, listen closely, and find a truly healthy groove.
n.b. This event aims to raise awareness of invisible disability, and welcomes anyone with a disability.
For ticket: click here
For more info please contact Elspeth: elspeth@2buproductions.co.uk
Raquel: raquelmeseguer10@gmail.com
Find out more about Healthy City Week at www.bristolgreencapital.org/health

Spring 2016…. lovely feedback from a workshop:

‘Your workshop last Tuesday gave our Breathe Easy members food for thought and a creative outlet not experienced often enough on third Tuesdays in the Acorn Suite. I hope you agree that the varied response, in words and images, is proof of the value of the afternoon to those present, not least the fun of it.
Mary tells me that the procession of the exercises led her to realise she could rise above negativity and begin again to enjoy life.’ Mike Green, chair of the Forest of Dean Breath Easy group.

Creative Letter writing for groups of children and adults

Join in celebrating and reinventing the hand-written letter. Relish the imperfections. Physical letters inform us in so many ways: they are about the trail we leave and the future we wish to shape.

Elspeth also does creative writing workshops, for instance in June 2015, she took 34 children caving at Goatchurch Cavern in the Mendips, followed by a poetry workshop (see the stalactite words hanging in the classroom as the poems begin to form): funding from Discovering Blackdown Project. The poems went into the time capsule Elspeth arranged to go in Blagdon school attic, along with letters that the children have written to the future and to themselves in the future.

Our Time Capsule in Blagdon

Blagdon Time Capsule: Mendip Times article January 2016

See more on this at www.scent.buzz

Letter to me in the futureIMG_3011IMG_3056


IMG_3059 IMG_3052

If you’d like to book a Scent event or workshop? Visit www.scent.buzz or email us on elspeth@2buproductions.co.uk

Check out updates on Facebook @2buproductions