We all have something we remember from childhood. Be it a book, a game, a person, a pet.
For me, there are certain toys that have managed to stay with me over the years. These toys hold my childhood memories together and I still look upon them with fondness. For my first shoot, I took these toys to a place where I grew up. Using a medium format camera I placed them in positions they were used to – up trees, in bushes and on the floor. These toys have been well loved, and have lost stuffing and fur. They are scraped and scratched, with missing pieces. But none of this mattered, as the older they got, the more I loved them, and it is only in hindsight that I can see how much they changed. Isn’t this so for ourselves?
Sunny – I always wanted a dog when I was little. One year for my birthday my parents gave me a shoebox with holes punched in the top, and I couldn’t believe they finally agreed to get me a puppy. I eagerly opened the box to find Sunny, his name embellished in gold on a tag in his ear. My dads light hearted humour has stayed with me, and I have always remembered that day. From that day, I took sunny everywhere.
Duck – I grew up in a hotel, and before we had our flat converted in the attic, our bath was in the basement. It was cold and had a particular damp smell. My mother would bath my sister and I under the warm light of the portable gas fire and lamps. My earliest memories are in that bath with my duck, which my mother kept and gave to me for my own daughter.
Monkey – As hotel owners, my parents took us on trips around the UK to save time and money. My Mother bought me this monkey when we went to Portsmouth in a Teddybear shop. It was special to me as it was usually my Dad who was the soft touch when it came to using my puppy dog eyes and powers of persuasion. I held onto this monkey even when I went to University (for the first time)
Barbie – I always pretended that I wasn’t into barbie and other girly toys as I was a bit of a tomboy. But I harboured a secret affection for them, and always remember playing with my friends dolls, with all their clothes and accessories.