afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-06

Title: time had ceased to exist for me. Now time had returned, and it was not a matter of days but of seconds
Date: 2018
Size: 5" x 7.5" (13 x 19cm)
Media: Acrylic, graphite, ink, collage, found text and imitation gold leaf on century-old book cover.

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-09

Title: Untitled Drawing
Year: 2017
Size: 5" x 7" (13 x 18 cm)
Media: Graphite and Watercolor on paper from 1930

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-02

Title: There's something behind all this disturbance--something I don't understand.
Date: 2017
Size: 7.5" x 10" (19 x 25cm)
Media: Acrylic, graphite, ink, collage, found text and faux gold leaf on 1912 book cover & inside page.

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-05

Title: Untitled Drawing
Date: 2017
Size: 5" x 7" (13 x 18 cm)
Media: Graphite on century-old paper.

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-04

Title: its hard work to untie knots
Year: 2017
Size: 4" x 6" (10 x 15 cm)
Media: Graphite, ink, acrylic, faux gold leaf, collage and found text on century-old paper.

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-03

Title: Other fragments of himself made their appearance.
Date: 2018
Size: 6" x 7.5" (15 x 19 cm)
Media: Graphite, ink, acrylic, copper leaf, collage and found text on century-old paper.

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-01

Title: Before a thousand peering littlenesses
Date: 2018
Size: 3" x 5" (8 x 13 cm)
Media: Graphite, ink, acrylic, copper leaf, collage and found text on vintage religious pamphlet page.

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-08

Title: Disband himself and scatter all his powers
Date: 2017
Size: 3" x 5" (8 x 13 cm)
Media: Graphite, ink, acrylic, faux gold leaf, collage and found text on paper from century-old bible.

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-07

Title: Untitled Mixed Media Drawing
Date: 2017
Size: 5" x 7" (13 x 18 cm)
Media: Graphite and Watercolor on vintage paper.

afterlife-art-heather-watts-01-10

Title: and the soul returns unto a life
Date: 2018
Size: 2.5" x 4" (6 x 10cm)
Media: Graphite, ink, acrylic, faux silver leaf, vintage religious medal, collage and found text on vintage paper.

heather-watts-afterlife-art-deer-spirits

Title: Ahead of her lay all manner of unknown terrors and strangeness,
Date: 2019
Size: 7" x 9.5" (18 x 24cm)
Media: Acrylic, graphite, ink, collage, found text and copper leaf on photograph reproduction.

heather-watts-afterlife-art-overlay-figures

Title: years of his existence seemed to be sponged from his mind like yesterday
Date: 2019
Size: 8.5" x 11" (22 x 28cm)
Media: Acrylic, graphite, ink, collage, found text and imitation gold leaf on century-old sheet music cover.

heather-watts-afterlife-art-seated-figure

Title: From less and less and vanish into light.
Date: 2019
Size: 5.75" x 8.25" (15 x 21cm)
Media: Acrylic, graphite, ink, collage, found text and imitation gold leaf on 1930s hymnal book page.

 

You Drift Away Closer and Closer

Fieldnotes from the Post-Religious Afterlife

Series in Progress, 2016-2021

“…to him the wall / That sunders ghosts and shadow-casting men / Became a crystal, and he saw them thro’ it, / And heard their voices talk behind the wall, / And learnt their elemental secrets, powers / And forces;”

–Alfred, Lord Tennyson

You Drift Away Closer and Closer: Fieldnotes from the Post-Religious Afterlife is an etherial collection works which traverse the invisible wall between the living and the dead.  

The series offers a lexicon of imagery for those who are navigating loss, particularly in the absence of religion or traditional culture.  The aim of the work is not to create a consensus narrative on death, but rather to move into the space between narratives and explore the connective tissue between them.  

As we confront a global climate of increasing uncertainty, our ability to grieve together matters.  You Drift Away Closer and Closer is a step towards reclaiming our collective capacity to mourn, an invitation into grief as an overlooked expression of our shared humanity.