England-based photographer Sian Davey's photo series Finding Alice is a touching illustration of family life featuring her daughter Alice, who was born with Down syndrome. Through beautifully candid snapshots of Alice's daily life, Davey shows that, despite developing physically and mentally in a unique way, her daughter is no different from any other human being. She plays with her siblings, displays a curiosity and thirst for life, and loves her family the same as any other child would–and in return, she is cherished just as tenderly by the friends and family who surround her every day.
“I was deeply shocked when Alice was born as an ‘imperfect' baby,” Davey confesses on her website. “It was not what I had expected. . . I was fraught with anxiety that rippled through to every aspect of my relationship with her. My anxieties penetrated my dreams. I dreamt that Alice was swaddled in a blanket and that I had forgotten all about her. I unwrapped the tight bundle that she was nestled in, to feed her, only to discover that she was covered in a white fluid–a fluid of neglect; and yet I was unable to feed her, unable to respond to her basic needs. On reflection I saw that Alice was feeling my rejection of her and that caused me further pain. I saw that the responsibility lay with me; I had to dig deep into my own prejudices and shine a light on them. The result was that as my fear dissolved I fell in love with my daughter. We all did.”
“I wonder how it might be for Alice to be valued without distinction, without exception and without second glance. This project is for her, for Alice.”