• Claire Watt

The Pyrographies Project

Welcome to the blog for Claire Watt's Pyrographies Project. Here I will be keeping you up to date with the project's progress, news and events.

The Story Behind the Project

Since the loss of my Mum six years ago, I have been passionate about raising opportunities for discussion about loss and grief. The taboo of the subject makes it difficult for many of us to discuss it together. You may feel awkward, uncomfortable or simply not know what to say when the subject presents itself and the trouble with grief is, it is such a uniquely individual feeling. We all go on different journeys with our grief after a loss so, of course, there is no blanket "fix" for what we feel and although a lot of us are in the same boat, we still feel so alone. There is no right or wrong journey with grief but, more can be done by us all to learn and support each other in what is an inevitable process we will all experience throughout our lives.

Talking about loss, for me, is a great place to start. Yes, it might sound scary if I mention the word death but beyond that I'm simply trying to say I miss my Mum. Talking about our loss together will help break down the barriers of the taboo it exists in and it's especially important to come together and support each other now after the Corona virus pandemic has affected so many of us.

Why Photography

For those new to my work I am a photographer working and living in Blackpool, England. My work often explores how society copes with death and loss, utilising images from the archives to document moments which evoke the memory.

Photography contains a magical power with its ability to freeze time and capture so many precious memories. There's something so special but equally heartbreaking about archive images of lost loved ones, especially when we can no longer make new ones with someone, being able to look back becomes even more important to someone who is grieving.

The Project

The idea for the Pyrographies Project started in 2019 when I produced a small handmade zine as part of my degree course. The book contained a collection of images of me and my Mum in which I am in direct contact with her by touch. The zine was also printed on tracing paper, making her outline transparent, metaphoric of her death and my grief combined.

The Pyrographies Project will give its participants a space in which to reflect on any of their own experiences and of lost loved ones. Beyond the original idea, the Pyrographies Project intends to be a space for reflection whilst retaining the anonymity of our loved ones. I am teaming up with Let's Talk About Loss to create a supportive space and project for those who are grieving. I am inviting people to submit their own photos to the project to create a photography project which help us talk about our loss.

How To Get Involved

The project is live now. If you would like to be involved there is a quick and easy Google Form to fill in and upload your images. Your image may be in any orientation and could be from an old photo you've found in the cupboard to a recent one from your phone, the choice is yours. You may upload a maximum of 5 JPEG images which are no bigger than 10MB in total. Once uploaded, your image will be edited and returned to you to keep. There will be a Kickstarter campaign later in the year to compile all the uploaded images together into a book to help raise some money for Let's Talk About Loss. This community group hosts 23 meet ups across the UK providing a space for 18-35 year olds who have been bereaved. You can find out more about their work at www.letstalkaboutloss.org

Click the link below to upload an image to the Pyrographies Project


All queries please email contact@clairewatt.co.uk

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