Abandoned playgrounds

There is something both solemn and eerie about an abandoned playground that captures me.

credit | Jakub Gaudasinski

As countries around the world practise social distancing and enforce lockdown and travel restrictions, many venues and public spaces lay dormant.

Children are not as free to explore the outdoors as they once were. They are tactile explorers who love to learn about the world through physical interaction.

credit | Jakub Gaudasinski

There is now a fear associated with touching which is deeply saddening. Empty parks and outdoor play spaces have a melancholy aura to them without the presence of children.

Other playgrounds lay dormant too; the theatres, stages, and sporting stadiums which once played host to colourful live events are suddenly quiet. These were once the play spaces for the young at heart. The artists and athletes now confined in their homes are longing for their playground. For now, they’ve created online spaces within which to play.

This may appease the mind temporarily, but the creative heart longs to be in its physical space to climb the walls of impossibility, glide upon the flying fox of their imagination, and swing from their beloved star. The virtual world cannot always satisfy the child within.

credit | Jakub Gaudasinski

The ghost light sits on empty theatre stages, as the rubber, tarp, and metal of playgrounds are exposed only to nature’s elements, without a child in sight.

How long these whimsical, wayward wonderlands will remain abandoned is anyone’s guess.

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