With thanks to the Childhood Trust for permission to use their mural above.
Last month we visited the V&A and this month takes us to the Foundling Museum, not far from Kings Cross. Thomas Coram set up the original foundling hospital to take care of abandoned children in 1739.
The hospital – or perhaps rather a ‘care home’ – provided not just a home but culture in the children’s lives, with Hogarth as artist, and Handel as a composer, both active and generous governors.
The museum is therefore highly appropriate for visual images of today’s children living in poverty and is currently hosting Katie Wilson’s Bedrooms of London photography exhibition, in partnership with the Childhood Trust, which ends on 5th May.
The photographs and narratives collected and written by Isabella Walker take us into children’s lives and we see the housing conditions that many already troubled children have to endure. These pictures add to the power behind other housing photos we have previously referred to including Nick Hedges and Tish Murtha, whose images were so powerful they affected policy.
The Childhood Trust’s report starts with poems written by children living in temporary accommodation. It draws together research, testimonies and case studies illustrated by photographs. You can find a copy here.
Housing and social policy should make lives better. Here we see it making lives harder. As the report summarises: all children should live in an environment that helps them achieve their potential.