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Vol. 16 No. 1 (2022): Drawing and Loss

Bearing Witness To Dying

30 November 2020


‘Bearing witness to dying’ is a personal account of how a drawing project, based in sketchbook drawing, which began as a simple exercise in maintaining my drawing practice, shifted in emphasis to become the observation of my husband’s final fight with cancer. As the months passed, it developed into a support system for living with the threat of impending loss, and finally helped me to survive the subsequent bereavement. Unconsciously, I was simultaneously creating a lasting record of precious and painful memories. The drawing practice is juxtaposed against a relationship with social media, which also became important as a support, and contrary to the usual manner of publishing intimate information, managed to reveal the events that were unfolding without ever revealing anything explicit.