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Its impossible to imagine a world without teddy bears.
A Story of Bears explores personal stories about teddy bears and other stuffed animal toys that become lifelong companions and hold a special place in the lives of their owners.
Sylvie Huet rediscovered her own childhood teddy at the age of 49 in a fleamarket. Until then he had lived only as a memory and in family photographs. Her discovery began a trail of exploration, revealing childhood memories and family secrets.
The bears that feature are aged between 44 and 98 years old – worn, stitched, and scarred, yet seemingly indestructible. Mostly they are anonymous, but several have celebrity status. Amongst those included are Nana, Jean Paul Gaultier’s bear with the cone bra; Grayson Perry’s ‘personal god’ Alan Measles; Tomi Ungerer’s bear, who inspired his famous children’s book Otto; and Jubilee, a stuffed chimpanzee and the childhood companion of Dame Jane Goodall, now considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.
Sylvie Huet’s portraits give the bears a dignity that befits their status in the eyes of their owners. Included are archive photographs, stories from the past, accounts of meetings and literary extracts.
Huet lives in Paris with her teddy ‘Copain’. A Story of Bears is her third book. Her first book, BOD MODS (editions Marval), is a photographic observation of body modification. Her second, Nains et alors (editions Buchet-Chastel) questioned the way in which society views dwarves.
172 pages, 64 b&w and colour photographs
170mm x 195mm