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Sarah Rhodes, Play

In her series Play, Sarah Rhodes documented a group of children in Tasmania, playing at being adults, playing at life. She watched them come to terms with the grief of losing a loved one by testing themselves in games of survival.


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The exhibition Play by Sarah Rhodes has received incredibly positive feedback from media and the audience. A deeply engaging series of images, this body of works appeals to a broad audience from different backgrounds and ages and sparks conversations about childhood, relation to nature and portrait photography.

In this ongoing series, initiated in 2008, Sarah Rhodes has sought to interrogate what adults might consider ineffectual childsplay. Rhodes asks whether, in the absence of adults, is it still possible to consider what children do and how they might work together as mere folly?

Rhodes has charted the same group of children over this period, in each instance photographing them within a forest, void of adults, as they make shelters, fashion tools and weapons, and co-operate within this new order governed by adolescents. Referencing William Golding’s 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies, the group appear less as children playing, and more as survivalists creating a new community in a dystopian world. No longer the dependents, these children now appear as the masters of their own destiny, ominously roaming the forest wielding weapons for hunting or protection.

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