Factory International is giving babies born in January 2023 lifetime membership

Luke Jerram’s new work ‘First Breath’ aims to “reveal, celebrate and connect the hidden community of people giving birth each day in Greater Manchester.”

By Emma Davidson | Last updated 21 November 2022

Share this story

An artist impression has been revealed for Luke Jerram’s new public artwork, First Breath, that will be showcased on the bank of the River Irwell outside Factory International, ahead of the opening of the new cultural space in June 2023. 

Each evening from 1st – 29th January 2023 between 4pm and 10pm, First Breath will cast powerful beams of light up into the clouds to celebrate new life. The lights will gently pulse to represent the first breaths of babies born that day in Greater Manchester. 

Hundreds of babies born in January 2023 will also receive lifetime membership to Factory International to coincide with the new work – providing priority booking, discounted tickets and exclusive invitations to everything from major exhibitions and epic concerts, to family performances and workshops. 

Audiences will be able to get up close to the artwork, walking in and around the lights, as well as witnessing it from vantage points across the city.  

First Breath is being created by world-renowned artist, Luke Jerram whose Museum of the Moon has been experienced by more than 20 million people worldwide and his giant 10-metre Floating Earth was seen by thousands at Media City in Salford and in Pennington Flash near Wigan in 2021. 

Luke Jerram said: “I want to reveal, celebrate and connect the hidden community of people giving birth each day in Greater Manchester. Disconnected and yet going through the life-changing experience at the same time, there are on average over 70 babies born each day in the city. This new artwork is designed to celebrate the moment a child is born – the extraordinary moment when they take their first breath and a new life arrives in the world.”

First Breath takes place in what will be a unique new public space at Factory International which will come alive in June 2023 with a wide-ranging year-round programme of free events and activities, creating a thriving riverside destination in the city centre for everyone to enjoy. 

Programmed and operated by the team behind the world-famous Manchester International Festival (MIF), Factory International will be a global destination for arts, music and culture, commissioning and presenting a year-round programme by leading artists from across the world. 

First Breath will set the new space in motion with a new programme of bespoke family activities and early learning opportunities for babies and parents at Factory International connecting a new generation through culture and exploring how art can be woven into daily family life from birth. 

Expectant parents due in January 2023 from all backgrounds and pregnancy journeys can sign-up to First Breath below.

The artwork is free and will run from 1-29 January 2023 from 4-10pm. It will be accessed on Water Street, at the bottom of Liverpool Road.