“Words often fail me when I try to explain my art, and words often fail people who suffer with Alzheimer’s Disease. I think we both occupy interior worlds that don’t always match up with everyday reality.”
Josh Dorman, painter and mixed media artist, had his first exposure to dementia in 2007 when he collaborated with the Memory Bridge Foundation to travel to a Chicago nursing home to create the six large “portraits” of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. “That project was all about listening”, says Dorman.
“I was a fly on the wall. Sketching, taking notes, soaking it in as they interacted with a facilitator or a family member. Then I would go back to the hotel to sketch/draw on top of antique maps and translate what I had experienced into portraits.”
Dorman has long been fascinated with antique collage elements – weathered ledger pages, topographical maps, old catalogs or textbook diagrams. There is no photography or photoshopped copies of things.
“I like for my collage elements to take the viewer out of the present moment. Topographical maps conjure wrinkles of course, but they also signal the passing of time and place, of erosion.”