by Rachel Oakley in New Photography on Thursday 16 January 2014

I don’t know about you, but when I moved out of the family home, my mum did cartwheels and back flips in celebration. Apparently this isn’t the only reaction parents have when their children go off into the big, scary world alone. Photographer Dona Schwartz captured picture of parents and answered the question of what parents actually do when their kids leave home.

‘I became curious about how parents experience their children’s departures,’ Schwartz says. ‘Is an empty nest greeted with relief? Sadness? Joy? Anxiety? What becomes of the spaces children once occupied? Are their rooms preserved as shrines or reclaimed for new uses? Do totems of childhood remain or does the presence of children vanish without leaving a trace?’