‘Behold The Man’ is a social photographic project by ASHA’s creative director Marksteen Adamson. The exhibition is an exploration of mind, body and soul through a two-year collaborative study with Alan Dainton, a homeless beggar in Cheltenham battling addiction.
Three large portraits of Alan are displayed as a triptych, with a supporting video that documents Alan’s journey. Visitors are invited to contemplate three images of Alan, each representing a different state of mind. They then have an opportunity to help Alan and others in similar situations by purchasing the supporting book, posters and postcards. The money spent is exchanged for the equivalent in gold plastic coins which are use to vote on charitable options. Giving the money to:
Sustenation: Directly to Alan. Intervention: One years rehabilitation for Alan or someone similar. Prevention: Projects concerned with youth at risk or in recovery from drugs and alcohol.
The project has received generous donations from the public while increasing awareness and interest around the topic of homelessness and addiction. Votes in the coin drop were overwhelmingly in favour of ‘Prevention’. This money was therefore donated to the local YMCA.
The book contains the thesis for the project as well as latest Home office figures on drugs and homelessness in the UK. The back page is embossed with Alan’s signature and cover unfolds to become a poster.
The high production values of the book deliberately juxtapose the subject. The aim is to make readers feel slightly uncomfortable that so much effort has been devoted to what most people would deem a hopeless case of addiction and disregard for society. The overarching idea for the book was to make something beautiful and significant out of the dirt and chaos of Alan’s world.
Two weeks after the exhibition, Alan decided to stay off Heroin and is now in sheltered accommodation in the Cheltenham YMCA. He is working on a recovery programme.
Alan Dainton - “If this project just helps one kid stay off drugs, it would still have been worth it.”
Website Design: ArthurSteenHorneAdamson Website created by: TangMedia
The effects of drug and alcohol abuse and other addictions are far-reaching. Children in families where one or both parents are addicts are affected in a number of ways from neglect to poverty. School holidays can be a particularly stressful time for parents and children and days out, funded by The Big Cold Turkey Foundation, can provide a welcome break and memorable time between parents and children.
Give it up!
Whether it’s smoking, drinking too much, eating chocolate, overspending or even biting your nails, The Big Cold Turkey is here to help you show those nasty little habits who's boss. It’s time to take control of your life and give it up!