Child’s Play is a term we use to mean that something so simple that it requires no thought. Children play, its what they do, its how we learn. Mark Neville is a photographer who travels to the worlds grittier places. His photograph’s of children playing all over the world are gathered for this exhibition at the Foundling Museum.
One thing becomes clear, it doesn’t matter where you spend your childhood the attraction of round objects to play with is universal; old tyres, Frisbees, balls you name it, if its round a child will find somewhere of playing with it. Acting up to the camera is another universal thing, in these two pictures the boys dressed for a play stare challengingly at the camera whilst the in the school photo all the children pull their best silliest face.
Playing is more than fun, it is essential for mental health. This exhibition is more than pictures it is part of a campaign for safe play spaces. Appropriately you can gaze out of the windows into Coram’s Fields. Any child can enter the seven acre central London park but adults have to be accompanied by a child. The playground occupies the site on which Thomas Coram set up the Foundling Hospital, the first children’s charity.
Coffee and a cake is an essential part of any cultural jaunt for me and the café at the Foundling Museum offers both good coffee and a pleasant place to sit. You can use the café without visiting the museum, handy if you have been accompanying a child to Coram’s Fields.
CHILD’S PLAY at the FOUNDLING MUSEUM
3 February 2017 – 30 April 2017
40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ
Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm, closed Monday
Admission: Permanent collection and exhibition £10.25, concessions available, children free