Sunday, November 10, 2013

MUCH LOVED by Mark Nixon

Irish photographer Mark Nixon's just-published book MUCH LOVED is a heartbreaking ode to our childhood stuffed animals.
His opening remarks in the book gave me goose bumps and made me tear up a bit since it is all so true...

"When everything was unknown, they were there.
When anything could happen, they were there.
These repositories of hugs, of fears, of hopes, of tears, of snots and smears.
Alone at night, they were the comforters, when monsters lurked in darkened corners, when raised voices muffled through floors and walls.
These silent witnesses, these constant companions, defenders of innocence.
Their touch, yes, but their smell, that instantly calming, all embalming musk, unique to each, soothing and smoothing the journey from consciousness to un, from purity to im, from infancy to adult-terre.
Sworn to secrecy, unconditionally there, unjudgementally fair and almost always a bear."

One Eyed Ted, age 55+, owned by Gerry Ryan

Big Ted, age 43, owned by Mairead Harrington

Bobo, age 34, owned by Shane Maher

Brownie, age 30, owned by Jenny Slattery

Visit his website for more work.
And MUCH LOVED would make a great holiday gift!

This delightful, very touching photo book made me go to my safe and get out Kitty and Tiger, my constant companions from my own childhood (yes, I keep them in a safe so they will never be lost) to photograph for this post.

Kitty started life as a bright white terry cloth cat with blue button eyes. (When I was seven, Kitty came into surgery with me when I had my tonsils removed. When I woke up, he had a little Band-Aid on his arm!) His fabric is thread bare, only a portion of one of his eyes is left, but his little red smile is still there.

Tiger started life as a hand puppet of a jungle cat. He had beautiful, shiny, deep golden eyes, and a luxurious pelt. Of course his fur has been loved off, his eyes are long gone, there is a hole in the left side of his head, and my mom sewed rips in his little hands and neck many times, but his nose is still visible.

And they both still have a faint trace of the smell of my childhood... *melancholy sigh*

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