FESTIVAL FRINGE: TOTAL MK AT THE BREATHING ROOM
Working as an artist takes patience and dedication, traits that Scottish creative Anna Berry has in abundance - without them her current feat of fabulousness wouldn't have materialised. Anna's Breathing Room has been stopping shoppers in their tracks - intrigued by the paper installation that has taken over an unused shop unit in thecentre:mk The visual feast has been created using discarded, donated paper - from companies, organisations and individuals in the area: From office memos with cryptic messages to beautifully handwritten notes. "People were really generous," Anna told Total MK, "Although I would have found it very hard to donate some of those notes..." Breathing Room - funded with assistance by the Community Foundation - is a marvellous structure that has absorbed not only thousands of sheets of paper - it has taken lots and lots of Anna's time too: "I've been making it for six months," she reveals, "...recently that has been 12 hour days - and no going to the pub! "I work in paper a lot, but this is the biggest, and the first kinetic piece." And people's responses have been largely supportive. Certainly when Total MK popped by for a look, other visitors were hugely complimentary about the moving structure. "I've been overwhelmed by people's reaction," she admits, "It's a little trippy." As with all art, Breathing Room is open to interpretation, and people have likened it to a living organism - comparisons drawn have included a gigantic lung and a coral mass. One Total MK writer likened the gentle noise made by the movement in the work to the sound of rain gently splashing against a window. You will have your own thoughts, but you need to be quick if you want to enjoy the Breathing Room experience - on Thursday the doors will close on the engaging success. Not unlike the trees from which the paper was sourced, Breathing Room will be cut down in its prime. The size, together with the fact that it is a delicate wonder, and not a robust work, meant that it was never going to remain beyond the Fringe Festival that it was created for. "I suppose that I have been preparing myself psychologically to let it go..." Anna admitted. But it will 'live' again - the paper masses will be sent for recycling. Anna will leave her paper trail behind, and move on to the next project - in the late summer she will take up a month-long residency in Wyoming. But first the experimental ace will be back creating in her adopted town of Milton Keynes: "I am dying to go and wrap some paper around a lamppost or something!" she laughed. Stay in touch on Twitter @weeannabee Breathing Room is located off Middleton Hall, opposite John Lewis - Silbury Srcade North, Door 13. Entry is free, opening hours are 11am to 4pm daily.