Falling into the Day is a story about my friend David, an accomplished artist living with Alzheimer’s disease.
I met David in 2004 and over the following years became increasingly interested in his character, his simple day-to-day routines as an artist, his apparent solitary lifestyle and the fact that I still knew very little about him. I began photographing him on a semi-regular basis, but it wasn’t until 2009 that the work began to take direction. I started noticing a shift in his behavior and his routines, and eventually learnt from a friend of David’s that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The photographs were made over several years in David’s home, his studio and in the various care homes he has lived in between 2011 and the present day. What began as a simple character study of an eccentric man and his quiet existence slowly became a story about living with dementia and the subtle deterioration of a creative mind during the last years of self-sufficiency and independence.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 800,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2021. This will soar to 1.7 million by 2050.