I recently stumbled across news of an exhibition called ‘Doudou Forever’ at children’s shop Un Zèbre au Grenier in Paris. It featured a series of portraits by French photographer Bénédicte Lassalle called ‘Mine Forever‘, capturing people’s soft toys – or as the French say ‘doudous’.
Bénédicte set up a mini-studio in-store to photograph doudous for those wanting a lasting memory of their little friend. Intrigued, I decided to contact Bénédicte and asked her what gave her the idea to start this project. Here is what she told me:
“I started this project soon after my daughter was born in 2009 for 2 main reasons: I am a freelance photographer and I wanted to create a special gift for my godson Lubin. Something that he would keep for a long time. And also at the time I wanted to create a piece of art to decorate my daugter’s bedroom. So I started to take pictures of some of her (many) stuffed animals and dolls. And then my sister-in-law told me that she still had her loveys (Catiche Rousse & Nounoute Orange), then my mother-in-law told me that she still had my husband’s lovey (Toutou) and then my mum told me that she still had hers (M’doudou)! My best friend too… Etc… This is how it all started! I choose the background according to the person’s age when he or she was a little kid. And now I organise mini photo studios in shops in Boston where I live and recently in Paris, to take the portrait of the children’s loveys so that they can decorate their bedroom.”
Don’t you just love this idea? For those living in Paris, the exhibition Doudou Forever will continue to run until 30 June at Un Zèbre au Grenier. For those who don’t, let’s hope that some enterprising store owners will invite Bénédicte to exhibit or organise a mini-studio at their store!
(images: bénédicte lassalle)