/14 Portraits

Michelle Sank

Young Carers

These images are from a project about Young Carers in the UK, children under the age of 18 who are often the main carers for a sick parent or sibling. In addition to performing daily household tasks like washing, bathing, cooking and shopping, they also have to cope with the additional pressure of school. Because they are different, they are often exposed to bullying from schoolmates and as a result lack a sense of identity as an individual in their own right.

With these portraits, I wanted to empower these young people with a sense of their own identity and normality. I wanted to remove them from their home environment and place them with ‘light’ and outside spaces. By getting them to dress in something they chose and to be themselves, I think for that moment in time they felt special, grounded and free.

I also wanted to convey in these images a sense of pride, confidence and the hope and wishes for the future that some of these young people have even though they are growing up in such demanding and difficult situations.

Work from Michelle Sank 6 month residence in Jersey, Channel Islands “Insula” will be published as a book in 2014