Many children develop strong connections to inanimate objects such as blankets or stuffed animals as a way of calming anxiety, particularly of the depressive type, when they are separated from their mothers. The soft materiality of these objects comforts the child in their transition from parental dependency to engagement with the outside world. As children progress into adulthood, they stop attending to their beloved stuffed animals, distancing themselves from the tactility of analog objects. Instead, attention turns towards modern digital media.
Though technology continues to advance and our desire for tangible objects decreases, the act of giving and receiving stuffed toys persists. Perhaps stuffed animals offer a chance to reflect on our relationship to our past.
“Beloved” is comprised of a series of photographic portraits of stuffed animals that were acquired from friends, family, and other anonymous individuals. Each animal displays its former handling, showing a trace of melancholy despite its child-like charm. The book is in large format, offering a bodily interaction that contrasts with the small plastic, glass, and metal devices that demand our attention as adults.