Her work over the last few years has been centered on large-scale mental health facilities and memorializing the patients that were sent to live there. Her works focus on the forgotten, the neglected, the abandoned, and the people who were uprooted from their homes and admitted into notorious state mental health facilities.
This series of cyanotypes features photographs from inside and around the structures that confined those who were society cast away. These images explore a well-known, defunct mental institution in Milledgeville, Georgia, Central State Hospital (1842-2010). Her extensive research of this institution, primarily conducted at the Special Collections Library and the Georgia Archives, where she read resources, informed what has become a complex and multifaceted relationship with this place. Rachel mindfully and constantly considers those who lived here while walking the grounds and reviewing documents. The work aims to document this site before it is torn down and to individualize the patients left here by friends and family. Those patients whose names became supplanted by numbers, to give back their identities, and let them be properly remembered. Rachel Watson is a contemporary artist working in installation, alternative photography, printmaking, woodworking, jewelry, book arts, and textiles. Watson received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Georgia in 2020. After her masters, she digitized the 7,000-piece collection at Newcomb Art Museum in New Orleans. Originally from Georgia, Watson currently resides in North Carolina, where she works as the 2D Coordinator for John C. Campbell Folk School and is in the process of renovating an elementary school into an artist residency and concert venue.