London based artist and photographer Dean Hoy's latest project is a collection of soft sculptures, titled Bears Who Care.
Bears Who Care is built out of the amalgamation of love and sadness and acts as symbol of repair, in a metaphoricalsense as well as literal. Soft Toys often observe and conserve years of love, specifically through childhood. Many bears are thrown out through adolescence. Bears Who Care attempts to save and immortalize these symbols of silent kindness, as precious artifacts of childhood by repurposing them, stuffing them with more love and celebrating their scars. The underlining narratives in Bears Who Care are further explored via object, clothes and the internet.
From Dean: "I see the Bears Who Care as the animals that were left behind by humans in natural disasters despite their unbreakable bond to us. After being abandoned I rescue them, mend them, and give them their own new narratives and identity. Bears Who Care aims to present a more hopeful attitude to the current issues we globally face. Looking at the past mistakes of humans and how we can move on and start to repair the planet. To show the complexity of the bears emotions navigating the abandonment, the reuniting and everything in between I looked at adolescence and the way we form our identity to influence the visual language of the brand. Referencing the imagery of our teenage years as we lose some of our innocence and begin to understand the complexities of the world around us. For me this was done through online platforms like Tumblr and this is a source for a lot of my inspirations for the bears themselves and the world I create around them. In summary, the story of the bears is one of complex relationships, repair, unprecedented love and power of humanity. A story which I feel can take many shapes in relation to each person's individual existence. I have (now) expanded the project with collaborations. In a teddy bear picnic sense, I’ve used the bears as canvases for multiple creatives to adorn (and document) them."
Dean has donated 60% of the sale of each Bear to Kathleen to Ministry of Stories, an East London creative writing and mentoring centre for 8-18 year olds.