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Exhibition paints a powerful portrait of inequality

4 February 2021

An exhibition that draws attention to the poverty experienced by children around the world is now open at Waikato Museum.

Where Children Sleep shares 25 candid images and accompanying stories of children and their sleeping spaces, from the stone quarries of Nepal to provincial China and downtown New York.

The exhibition captures the diverse living situations of children in different countries, told through individual portraits and pictures of sleeping spaces – ranging from a brightly coloured room filled with toys to an outdoor mat.

The idea for the photographic project arose when Venice-based photographer James Mollison decided to address the economic inequality and complex social issues affecting children around the world. The disparity between children’s lives is depicted in Mollison’s portraits of their bedrooms.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham said this poignant exhibition provides an opportunity to reflect on the plight of kids living in poverty and conveys the important message that all children need to be nurtured and protected.

“Where Children Sleep is ultimately a portrait of vulnerability underpinned by social and cultural issues,” she said. “Mollison’s haunting images highlight the stark inequalities but also deep common threads shared by children, whether privileged or deprived.”

The exhibition is toured and developed by Expressions Whirinaki and runs at Waikato Museum until 9 May, daily from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free.


Details of all exhibitions are available at


Image: Gypsy, Italy, by James Mollison. Image courtesy of James Mollison.


For more information:

Elias Koronis, Communications Advisor

07 974 0428 |