by Mark Nixon
Age Range: Adult
Hardcover: 128 pages
If you visit my PROJECTS page, you'll see how the book Much Loved inspires my own work. A book made for the kid at heart, photographer Mark Nixon breathes life back into cherished childhood toys in Much Loved. Nixon presents the often hidden stories of these beloved creatures in a lovable, tender way that feels like Humans of New York for the stuffed-animal set.
The book features full-color photographs, captures stuffed bears in mid-air, as though floating. I shared the book with my stuffed lion, Boo Boo, and my Bunny. Bunny was particularly drawn to a one-legged teddy bear who, after being purchased at Dusseldorf airport, had the privilege of traveling around the world. The one that moved me most was the story of 49-year-old Teddy who was given to Frances Curtin by her aunt:
"Frances never saw her aunt again after the day she received Ted and only heard of her once after that: she turned up drunk when her father was dying and was thrown out of the house."
-Teddy's story in Much Loved
Childhood memories can be complicated. It's a good thing our teddy bears and stuffed toys were there with us to provide comfort.
So many adults have their favorite stuffed toys from childhood tucked away in closets, trunks, and dusty boxes. Just to think of these toys bring us joy, yet, we hide them, and we often forget how much they mattered to us. That's why I'm launching a new photography and audio documentary project to help bring our old friends out into the light.
Please check out my PROJECTS page to learn more. Mark Nixon's Much Loved and German artist Sandro Kopp's Fiercely Loved series inspire my work.