When I was little I would rotate my cuddly toys from the prime position on my pillow to the reserve spot under the bed. This was a tactic designed to prevent any of them from feeling left out.
Luckily for Mark Nixon, not everyone was as promiscuous with their soft toys, and his photographic collection Much Loved logs a nostalgic selection of well-loved bears and inanimate bedmates. With the infamous teddy from Mr. Bean among the collection, as well a cuddly donated by Bono, these lovely toys offer a beautiful range of childhood companions up for display.
Ireland-based Mark Nixon is a two-time winner of Overseas Photographer of the Year (British Photographic Awards), and winner of Irish Photographer of the Year (Irish Professional Photographers Association).
A bittersweet collection of photographs of well-loved stuffed animals, it’s hard not to feel your heart ache while looking through the collection of pics that make up Much Loved. Having given a fair few one-sided hugs in their time, these bears are well worn. From a bedraggled bunny and wide-eyed panda to more traditional gruff teddies, each of these fabric creatures has a story written on their worn fur. The rips and tears on these bears and animals are, like the pen scrawl on Woody‘s boot in Toy Story, a reminder that someone has loved them with their whole heart.
Nixon comments: ‘The well-worn toys show battle scars of being the prized possessions of children and cherished companions that have seen many a repair as different parts start wearing down.’
Featuring sixty portraits, Much Loved is a walk down memory lane for those of us that shared our duvets with toys as children, and a guilty reminder for those of us who have crossed the path to adulthood, but haven’t yet let go of our cuddly mates.
Photo credits. Aisling Hurley- Pink Teddy, Derek Ward- Teddy, Lua Spencer- Flopsie, Mark Nixon – Panda, Tom O’Connor Jr- Beary ©Mark Nixon Much Loved, Mark Nixon £10.99 Published by Abrams Image.