CcOur friend Queenie discovered these old photo albums on a market stall in East London. Each one is meticulously laid out with photographs spanning the lifetime of a woman with Down's Syndrome. Her father, a keen amateur photographer, methodically shot hundreds of portraits of his daughter and wife. Evidently the family's favourite pastime was to get dressed up and pose for the camera in the garden or by the seaside. You see images of girl (who I'm guessing was born in the 60s) become a grown woman. Then you watch her condition gradually deteriorate until it cuts off sometime in the 90s. This photo-biography might sound a tad melancholy, but it's actually the opposite, in no small part thanks to her awesome wardrobe.

The only thing I know about her is that her name was Janice Wilson. I know this because a Riding For The Disabled certificate that she won in 1984 is tucked inside one of the albums. There are no other clues as to her identity. I tried calling the riding school, but their records do not go that far back.

- click photos to enlarge -




PETE said...


JIRO said...

Where are the best ones, her dancing, holding a monkey. Come on Dom!

Anonymous said...

That is amazing. How beautiful. It reminds me slightly of Jamie Livingston's documentation of his life through polaroids. But there is a different poignancy to the fact that Janice appears in every picture, and that they were taken by her father. Incredible. This is exhibition/book material. x

Anonymous said...


emily said...


SHAR WAH! said...

omfggggg. my life is now complete.

Burbot Soup said...

She's adorable! I love that her family loved her enough to take frequent photos of her in snappy little outfits. She's awesome. I wish I'd known her.