Do you remember the school playground? The fun and laughter, the occasional sadness and tears? For British photographer James Mollison he believes his most important childhood memories were from those school breaks, running around in the fresh air with friends.
Which is why he decided to create a series entitled Playground, beginning with a trip back to his own school in Winchester, before visiting others all across the world. He explained: "The playground had been a space of excitement, games, bullying, laughing, tears, teasing, fun, and fear. It seemed an interesting place to go back to and explore with photography. I started the project in the UK, revisiting my school and some of the other schools nearby. I became fascinated by the diversity of children’s experiences, depending on their school. The contrasts between British schools made me curious to know what schools were like in other countries.
"Most of the images from the series are composites of moments that happened during a single break time — a kind of time-lapse photography. I have often chosen to feature details that relate to my own memories of the playground. Although the schools I photographed were very diverse, I was struck by the similarities between children’s behaviour and the games they played."
Visiting schools in everywhere from Africa, India and China to Italy, America and Russia – you can discover more of James' fascinating Playground series at www.jamesmollison.com. Or check him out on Instagram.
Main image: Dechen Phodrang, Thimphu, Bhutan