French & Mottershead: Waterborne

French & Mottershead: Waterborne

What happens when we reach the end of life? Listen to an intimate and poetic story of afterlife as you look out over water. Hear the process of transformation as your body is transported by currents and tides, as it is borne from a canal, through a widening river and out to sea.

You can experience Waterborne any time and as often as you like between 14 Jun - 27 Jun 2021.

Book now for your FREE link to the audio stream here.

Alternatively you can find and scan one of our QR-coded signs located by Lake Carter, overlooking the River Lune, along the Heysham Coast or Lancaster Canal.

Lancaster Arts is delighted to welcome back French & Mottershead to present Waterborne from their internationally acclaimed Afterlife series. Afterlife transports the listener to places none of us can ever fully know, connecting us with stories of what happens to our body after death. The influence of different environments on the body are experienced in a lyrical and vivid way throughout the series – Waterborne follows a body’s journey in water.

Written from forensic case studies of human bodies transported by water and research on the ecosystems of rivers and tidal waters, the effect of the work has been described as, "an experience that mixes the putrid and the poetic, and manages, by bringing the participant face to face with death, to be wonderfully life-affirming"  ABC (Australia).

Waterborne explores death and decomposition and is recommended for ages 11 and over.

How to Listen

The best way to experience Waterborne is on a slow walk or as you sit with all the sensory consequences of being close to water.

To listen you will need:

•A smartphone, with charge and a stable internet connection.

•QR code reader app and/or know how to scan a QR code (for the QR option).

•A good pair of headphones, over ear if possible.

•Clothing and shoes suitable for weather and location.

You don't even have to be in Lancaster to experience the work!

A transcript of the audio track will be available on the audio stream page.

River Lune Tide Times

Live Event: Aftercare for Waterborne

On 27 June at 2pm join us for a live Aftercare for Waterborne event with artist Andrew Mottershead and Forensic Scientist Anna Williams at Lake Carter at Lancaster University. Here you can share your experience of Waterborne and thoughts on death and the natural processes of life beyond death. More info HERE.  Please register your interest by emailing


Due to ongoing restrictions, Lancaster Arts is making Waterborne free to access. However, we encourage you to make a donation here after experiencing the event. Your support will enable Lancaster Arts to continue providing great experiences in this open and accessible way.

Share your thoughts and images with us:

We would love to hear your thoughts and see your images of the body of water you were overlooking on social media using the hashtags and handles below:

#WaterborneLancs #LoveLancaster

Twitter: @lancasterarts @FrenchMotters

Instagram: @lancasterartsUK @frenchandmottershead

Facebook: @lancasterartsUK @FrenchMotters

You can also email comments, observations or questions to:

More info:

Supported by The Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England, the artists collaborated with forensic anthropologists, ecologists and conservators in developing each piece, researching the minute details of decay in different environments (woodland, water, museum, and home) to create a series of poetic works that puncture our fear of the unknown.

You will be sent a free link when Waterborne is live so you can access the piece - just click on the 'BOOK NOW' button below.

QR code signs will also be erected at Lake Carter, the River Lune and Heysham coast - the QR code will take you straight to the link.

How to scan a QR code on a Android or iPhone

[please note that the performance times listed below are currently hardcoded on our website and not removable at this time. Please ignore them and access the piece day or night between 14 - 27 June]


25 minutes


FREE TO ACCESS - book now to receive a link to the audio stream