O'Brien's photos capture a London that is rapidly vanishing. Of his work he says: "The urban landscapes capture people off guard in the run-down buildings and streets of East London, which have now been cleaned up or demolished."
Lately we've been exploring what it looks like to live life on the open road, chronicling contemporary gypsies and their nomadic lifestyles. But what happens to the children of these individuals, born into an itinerant life?
This was the subject of Colin O'Brien's photography series, entitled "Traveller’s Children in London Fields." The photos capture the lives of young nomads journeying through East London in 1987. And in case you're unfamiliar with East London in that age, it's far different than the locale today.
"The whole area was very run down in those days, with racist and IRA graffiti everywhere," O'Brien explained to It's Nice That. "The children had led a rough hard life and they were older than their years, and I think this shows in the pictures. They weren’t twee or out to please me, they were just themselves."
Like a rough gang, just miniature, the street savvy children radiate confidence and experience. There is something endlessly fascinating about the way innocence and experience co-mingle in their poses and expressions, don't you think?
All images © Colin O’Brien