Hardback, 172 pages 40 color photographs by Sylvie Huet 21 b&w archives, courtesy of the families texts : Sylvie Huet and bears owners language : English 170mm x 195mm print run : 1500 publisher: Dewi Lewis Publishing ISBN: 978-1-907893-59-9 Design Caroline Warhurst & Sylvie Huet Print: EBS, Verona, Italy £16.99

Hardback, 172 pages
40 color photographs by Sylvie Huet
21 b&w archives, courtesy of the families
texts : Sylvie Huet and bears owners
language : English
170mm x 195mm
print run : 1500
publisher: Dewi Lewis Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-907893-59-9
Design Caroline Warhurst & Sylvie Huet
Print: EBS, Verona, Italy
£16.99

If this unexpected subject came to me by accident, I quickly understood that, photographing those inanimate characters, I was pursuing the same aim as in the two previous works : revealing a part of people’s intimacy and fragility.

My mother didn’t throw anything away. This is the first sentence of À la guerre come à la guerre, by Tomi Ungerer, whose teddy bear, Otto, appears in this book. If only I could have said the same thing, but my mother, once in a blue moon, gave mine to a stranger. I couldn’t imagine when I recognised him at the age of 49 in a flea-market and brought him home, that my story would make such a noise. I decided to make a book from it and quickly discovered that photographing a bear was like entering a family secret. With every photograph an investigation would start : ‘Remember!’ ‘When was it?’ ‘It comes back to me!’ Everyone searched through the boxes of childhood photographs… 

Aged between 44 and 98 - worn, stitched and scarred -, the bears are mostly anonymous, but several are the companions of celebrities : Jean-Paul Gaultier and his teddy bear Nana, who was his first model, Greyson Perry the english artist and his ‘personal god’ Alan Measles. Tom Ungerer’s teddy bear, who inspired the famous book OTTO, Dame Jane Goodall and her stuffed chimp Jubilee…

click to view the complete set of images in the archive