Childhood is but a brief moment in life. It’s a time that many people remember only vaguely, often with grown-up embellishments. It is a stage of life that is idealized and romanticized. Child’s Play goes beyond the simplified nostalgic vision of childhood we as individuals and society memorialize to reveal one that is gritty, complex and enigmatic. Small in stature with little understanding, children are nonetheless human beings who, along with joy and happiness, also experience pain, isolation, loss, confusion and other unpleasant emotions that are just as much a part of childhood as adulthood.
Child’s Play is a child-centric world uninhabited by adults and uninhibited by the rule of parents. I photograph those closest and most familiar to me – nieces and nephews in my large extended family in suburban Utah. With such intimate access, I can delve deeply into the children’s private world with absolutely no restraint. I’m drawn to dichotomy and drama, isolation and togetherness, tension and harmony, the abstruse and the concrete. Mundane moments are transformed into mysterious, earnest, and complicated childhood experiences. Each photograph unveils a small but telling piece of the children’s psychological and emotional world. As a whole, the series is a personal and, I hope, insightful glimpse into an unadulterated universe where our collective childhood memories transcend mere sentimental child’s play.