A child’s bedroom is a resting place. Its a way to escape the evolving world around them. For some children, their bedrooms can often portray their environment and the issues affecting their lives.
The images captured by James Mollison in his book Where Children Sleeps are riveting and thought provoking. Described by the photographer as a means “to interest and engage children in the details of other children around the world,” the book captures a diverse array of children and their sometimes complex environment.
Born in Kenya, James Mollison grew up in England where he attended the Oxford Brookes University and studied Arts and Design. He later attended Newport School of Arts and Design and studied film and photography. His creative work in Where the Children Sleeps plays on the old adage of nature vs. nurture, where It is often said that sometimes we are a product of our environment. It is also more often assumed from an empirical point of view that our nurturing from a early age have a great affect on our overall sense of self. But according to Mollison, his childhood bedroom became “a way of expressing his various changing interest.”
Mollison collection of 56 images started out as conversation about children’s rights, but later evolved into something more. Instead of focusing on just disadvantage children in the developing world, the images were more inclusive and focused on issues affecting children from all types of environments and backgrounds. The shots of each child was taken separate from their bedroom using a neutral blank background. The children’s bedrooms were then shot as is. This, according to Mollison was a way to portray the children as individuals separate from their “cultural circumstances” but equal to other children around the world. The photos tend to speak for themselves, in that the viewer may conjure various emotions.