Project Detail: Love Story


Reportage and Documentary 2019




John Bolloten


Project Info

Love Story

Love Story is a very intimate and personal view of the life of a drug-using couple in Bradford in the north of England.

Gary and Maree have been together for about four years. Gary is 44 years old and has been injecting heroin since he was 15. He drinks a number of tins of strong
Polish lager every day and sometimes smokes crack. Maree is 24 and doesn’t use heroin - she smokes crack and also drinks lager daily.

This work was made over eight months, between February and October 2018 and aims to give an insight into their lives. People who use drugs are largely hidden from public view in society. Often they are suffering from assorted mental and physical health issues, and in Gary's case a physical disability. Less than a year previously, Gary's left leg was amputated above the knee due to a serious infection resulting from an accident that happened many years before. His accomodation was completely unsuitable for him as a disabled person and as austerity continued to bite hard at the most vulnerable communities in the UK, he was left without adequate support and aftercare from his operation. To add to their woes, Maree had suffered a number of close family bereavements and was struggling to cope emotionally.

Against this challenging backdrop Gary and Maree would hold onto each other for support but at the same time their relationship also faced regular stormy breakdowns.