Art & Dementia

William Utermohlen compositeThese paitings are something that keeps me intrigued. Something so dishearting; yet, so beautiful. Pragmatic while abstract. Appealing, however, shocking.

That is how I would describe the paintings from William Utermohlen. The painter who lived with dementia created a series of self-portraits over a 5-year period. He documented his gradual decay of his mind.  Well how some people would call it.

Eventhough I should be writing (as always), I was again drawn to these paintings. How art and dementia can come together, sadly or positively. Yes, there is such a subject of arts, science and people living with dementia all combined together. While my media literacy approach may be seen as ‘artsy’ compared to clinical trials. There is so much more to discover or gain when it comes to art and dementia. Not only media but also in terms of solutions or empowering practices.

But that is another story for another time!





One thought on “Art & Dementia

  1. The pictures are amazing and really make you think about the creative capacity of the human mind even after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. There’s some interesting info about Utermohlen’s artistic process after his diagnosis in this article:

    As you may know, art therapy is starting to be implemented throughout the dementia care world and will hopefully become commonplace soon enough, as it’s been shown to be an incredibly valuable way of ‘awakening’ the mind of so many people who would otherwise feel extremely isolated, both internally and socially.

    I wrote a short blog recently on the topic and about some of the programs that are bringing art to dementia patients – feel free to have a read whenever you get the chance:

    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

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