Bearing Witness To Dying


  • Karen Wallis York St John University, UK


Drawing Journal, Sketchbook, Death, Cancer, Social Media


‘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.




How to Cite

Wallis, K. (2022). Bearing Witness To Dying. TRACEY - Drawing and Visualisation Research, 16(1). Retrieved from