Sian Davey had no idea what to expect when Alice was born. Told her infant daughter had Down syndrome and to treat her no different than any other baby, Davey and her family faced the complicated reality of raising a child who was deemed ‘imperfect’ by the rest of the world. Looking for Alice is one mother’s document and pledge to her little girl, both unflinchingly honest and profoundly compassionate in the portrayal of their everyday lives.
A psychotherapist for 15 years and mother of 4, Davey humbly admits that she was unprepared for her own fears in raising a child with Down syndrome, “fraught with anxiety that rippled through to every aspect of my relationship with her”. Riddled with nightmares and worry, Davey eventually came to face all her own failings and apprehension, finally able to fall in love with her daughter. She eloquently declares Alice is like every other person on earth – deserving of love, care, and a life that is full and whole. The series depicts the quiet lives of their family with Alice glowing at its heart, made complete through this wonderful gift. The work is poignantly heartbreaking not because of Alice’s ‘imperfection’, but in its bold tenderness and courage.
All images © Sian Davey