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What does dying look like? What awaits us on the other side of death? What does a dead person leave behind? What do we lose when a person dies? What do we gain? Are the dead still with us? I started asking these questions following my mother’s sudden death, and then my father’s, and I’m seeking answers in images.

This ongoing series of drawings, poems, and riddles investigates death, one of the greatest and most complex mysteries of life, in black and white terms. I use the formal qualities of positive and negative space as a metaphor for presence and absence in life, and the changing meanings of those terms in death. While positive and negative spaces are seemingly explicit, neither black nor white are consistent signifiers. The elements that are present and the elements that are absent in any composition remain ambiguous and interchangeable as the whereabouts of a departed loved one: gone forever; right beside me in felt experience. One. The other. Both. Forever.

With these drawings, I intend to stimulate conversation around the processes of dying and death, and to acknowledge these shattering and universal events as an inherent aspect of life.