Children, Play and the Future

Children…they are the future.

Literally. Whether you like it or not. As in, if all the kids suddenly vanished and nobody had any more, there would be no future, so that’s just life.

That was a bit dark, but what I’m getting at is that children are more important to our society than we realise, and I’d like to start a project that takes a candid look at the soul of a child. Now, I know plenty of people- with good reason- take issue with their child being photographed, so we’d have to be respectful. However, my coffee table book project would be aimed at capturing the moments of joy and innocence that we so easily forget as adults, so that maybe we can look back and remember that time. A time when imagination ruled, and all our needs were met. It’s a mentality that we so easily forget due to the burdens of life. I remember the first time I went to a birthday party venue in Adelaide, my place of origin. Our family couldn’t often afford to go out, so this was a very new experience for me. For the first time, I was opened up to a colourful world of climbing, exploring, running, jumping…or rather, those things but indoors.

I mean, I’d been climbing and running before. Kids do that a lot. What was different was that now I could do it in a ball pit, or stand on the deck of a painted pirate ship and imagine that the entire play centre was my vessel. The first thing I did was make all the parents walk the plank, because adults were boring, after which I became the pirate empress.

If only I could go back and bottle the joy and freedom I felt in that moment! I don’t know if mere photography can cut it, but maybe we can have stories, poetry and other forms of prose in there as well. Adelaide’s indoor play centres are a good place to start, though anywhere kids can be kids will do just fine. If people can’t remember what it’s like to be a child…I shall be the one to spark their memory.