Patricia Lay-Dorsey


Tea for Two

“As I look through the lens of my iPhone camera, I see Eddie’s and my day-to-day life together against the backdrop of his playing ‘Tea For Two’ on the piano and my singing along almost every night for the past 50 years. The ‘now’ blends into ‘then’ with soft washes of black and white memories.”

In 2015, during Detroit’s third coldest February on record, Patricia Lay-Dorsey began documenting her daily life with her husband, Eddie. Because she relies on a mobility scooter to get around, single digit temperatures and heavy snowfall kept the artist at home, requiring her to shift her creative focus to personal subject matter while also experimenting with a new tool for visual storytelling: her iPhone. The result is the series Tea for Two, a quiet yet heartfelt meditation upon 50 years of intimacy and companionship.

Born in Washington, DC in 1942, Detroit-based photographer Patricia Lay-Dorsey brings a Masters degree in social work and four decades as a visual artist to her humanistic photography. She is best known for Falling Into Place, a book of self-portraits published in 2013 by Ffotogallery in Cardiff, Wales that documents her day-to-day life with a disability. Lay-Dorsey’s photo essays have been featured by the NY Times Lens Blog, Huffington Post, Feature Shoot, LensWork, BBC World Update, Vogue Italia and Newsweek Japan, among others. She has had solo exhibits in Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, and China, and recently received the Critical Mass 2015 Rauschenberg Residency Award.