Andy Palfreyman (a.k.a. "the Dapper Snapper") is a photographer with experience of street homelessness.
"Looking Down" Exhibition, October 3-8, 2019
Swiss Church, 79 Endell Street
All photographs can be purchased for £70, 30cm by 40cm as C-Type print photograph on Fuji Crystal Archive Matt.
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All revenue goes to the photographer directly and supports his future projects to raise awareness for the homeless.
You tend to see needles quite regularly in this area but not often with the cap back on. Homeless people are considerate and share the little they have with each other. Homelessness can turn people into drug addicts just to escape the monotony of life in the streets.
This shows the fragility of the life of street homeless people. I’ve sometimes wished my life was over. Mental health issues and depression often go hand in hand with homelessness.
Andy Palfreyman, aka the Dapper Snapper.
A young girl sat there and she looked really helpless. When she left, this was all that was left of her. It’s lot harder for females to be street homeless. They are much more vulnerable and tend to stay in the shadows.
The general public would frown upon seeing this and may be offended, but to me this is homeless people considering others by using one specific area. Due to government cut backs, public toilets are shutting.
RAYS OF HOPE
When I walked through St Giles Square, to see the rays of sunlight made me feel good for the day. Trying to feel good about yourself is very important when you are street homeless. Hot weather is not always appreciated as it makes it harder to sleep. Which is the case for everyone!
SO DO WE
The irony of it! Some business chains are very helpful and others see us as a blot on the landscape.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
You got your pillow, mattress, bedside table and heater. Homeless people respect each other’s sleeping places. If you’re away for three nights it’s up for grabs. There is a huge camaraderie amongst the homeless community.
The average age of a street homeless person dying is 43 for men, slightly older for women. I’ve personally found three dead bodies over the years. It will stay with me forever. It’s criminal that people have to die in the streets in one of the wealthiest cities in the world.
The feel good days, you have to make the most of them. It tends to be the small things that make you feel good. People just saying hello to you makes a huge difference. It’s nice to be acknowledged as an equal.
I’d like to be reborn. Things would be a lot different – hopefully. There are many good things in my life, but also lots of regrets. I’ve been lucky enough to have good friends and help from charities.
THE INVISIBLE HOMELESS
A homeless guy walked past me just as it started to rain, and he just left his footprints. It reminded me how homeless people are invisible to society. The arrows are saying: I was here.
SPANNER IN THE WORKS
The spanner is broken. Homelessness can break people. The spanner is also a symbol how life can be repaired. A friendly word or an open door can start this process.
To me, this image speaks for itself.
Cardboard and Caviar Exhibition; Swiss Church, November 2015
Halfields Street (off Stamford St)
Down there opened up into a huge cellar – it was superb. The eight-storey building was being renovated; top floor, working down. The workmen knew I was there, they were quite happy. As they finished each floor, I knew I had seven months, six months, five months left. Then one day they had painted a sign for me: 'We're starting work on the cellar and unfortunately you'll have to leave. Really sorry to put this on you.' They were really nice people, brilliant. I went back and thanked them.
This was one of my summer residencies, off Tottenham Court Road. I could wake up with the sun on my face, which makes a huge difference to your day.
Tottenham Court Road
This was a lovely dry alleyway off Tottenham Court Road. But in those days I used to drink, and I had to climb over the fence at night. I was very lucky not to do myself a serious injury!
Waterstones, Covent Garden
This was my last address, in Covent Garden. The manager of the bookshop was a beautiful human being. Locking up at night she'd chat to me and my friends for hours, offer us cups of tea. It's the little things that make a difference.
I liked this one as it looks like a bed. I kept getting asked to leave, but I couldn't resist going back, as lovely warm air came up that vent. Eventually I left, as I was sick of being pestered. I understand though... People pay mortgages, they pay rents. People take homes for granted, and rightly so!
Southbank Skatepark stairwell
This was the first place I ever slept homeless. I had been walking around for days, too scared to sleep. I was embarrassed to crawl under, but I in the end I was so tired. I slept here for about a year, the first of over 30 on the streets. There was a lovely street cleaner who used to say hello to me in the mornings. Sometimes I'd get him a cup of tea, or he'd bring me one, we were both short on cash.