The book is a collection of portraits of stuffed animals and the stories of their relationship with the people who own them. Mark Nixon is an award-winning photographer.
You won't be able to help but miss your childhood, as well as your favorite stuff bear/rabbit/etc.
BELONGS TO: FRANCES CURTIN
Ted was a present from Frances’s father’s sister. 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.
BELONGS TO: GERRY RYAN /BABETTE RYAN
Gerry and his brother Mano both owned this bear as children. Gerry took to carrying him around as an adult after watching "Brideshead Revisited" and renamed him Aloysius. He often spoke of him on the radio show he hosted for twenty-two years. There is still a trace of lipstick visible that Gerry’s mother, Maureen, applied at one point.
Since Gerry’s sudden passing in 2010, One Eyed Ted is being cared for by Gerry’s daughter Babette.
BELONGS TO: LUKE FOLEY
Teddy was put in the crib one hour after Luke was born. He has been lost a few times since then; once on a family holiday in Tunisia, but after a major appeal, he was found ten miles away!
Another time, after searching everywhere, we thought we had lost Teddy for good, so we called the Steiff factory in Germany to see if they had a replacement, but as Teddy was a limited edition, they didn’t. Teddy finally showed up sometime later in a chess game box.
Even though Luke is sixteen now and won’t admit it, if he comes across Teddy, the first thing he does is pick him up and smell him.
BELONGS TO: MARK NIXON
I think I only ever called him Panda. I remember clearly snuggling up with him in bed as a child, which is probably why watching my son, Calum, with his teddy spurred me on to starting this project.
As I grew up and my interests focused elsewhere (girls and music mostly), Panda spent many years on top of the wardrobe in the spare room of my mother’s house. From there, he migrated to a cardboard box in her attic and finally the box came down with the ultimatum, “Take it with you or it’s going in the bin.” So he joined the scores of other soft toys belonging to my children and landed in a trunk in the spare room. I have just pulled Panda out to photograph him for this project and he smells a bit musty, but I have decided to keep him beside my computer in my studio while I work.
BELONGS TO: NICKY GRIFFIN
Teddy Tingley belonged to my oldest brother, who gave him to me the day I was born.
I remember when I was three years old and we were heading off on holiday by train. I had just settled down in the carriage with my brothers for the journey and as the train started moving, I glanced out the window to see, to my horror, Teddy sitting on a bundle of my comics left on the station platform. Thanks to my mum roaring like a madwoman out the window, “The teddy! The teddy! I just want the teddy!” some kind person picked up Teddy and ran with him as the train picked up speed, reaching up to the window just in time for Mum to grab him. She then had to sit down and face the other passengers for the rest of the journey, marked as the mad teddy bear woman. To hell with them and the comics; Teddy was what mattered.
BELONGS TO: SHANE MAHER
Shane sent Bobo by regular post to be photographed after hearing about the Much Loved project on the radio.
Shane was six weeks old when Santa brought Bobo, but now Bobo sleeps with Shane’s nine-year-old daughter. Bobo was accompanied by a letter that expressed the hope that Bobo would be photogenic and asked us to take care of him.
We sent him back, registered.
BELONGS TO: TOM O’CONNOR JR.
Sinead Keogh wrote: Tom turned six in September. When he was born, he got the teddy as a gift from a friend of mine. Tom calls the teddy Beary, and he goes everywhere with him. I always know when Tom is tired—I hear him running upstairs to get Beary off his bed for a cuddle.
BELONGS TO: ZOE BRACKEN
Zoe has three teddies: Mummy Bunny, Daddy Bunny, and Nanny Bunny. They all have to go on holiday and travel in their own suitcase.
Zoe has to sleep on the edge of her bed, because the three of them need their space
Excerpt from "Much Loved" by Mark Nixon. Published by Abrams Images © 2013 by Mark Nixon.