Bruno the brown bear became a bit of a celebrity when he roamed from his home in the Italian Alps into Bavaria—the first bear sighting in Germany in around 170 years. Unfortunately, the government determined that he was a threat and saw it necessary to shoot him in 2006, despite opposition from animal lovers.
Netherlands-based artist Eiko IshizawaÂ was moved by the story to create the “the great sleeping bear,” a furry beast of a sleeping bag for a wilder outdoors experience. Ishizawa wanted to dramatize the association between love of the wilderness and fear of the unknown in the outdoors. The startlingly realistic bag stitches together thoughts on contemporary culture and nature, and—with a human face peering out of the bear’s mouth—sees the person inside taking on the role of the feared.
The artist invites those who buy her great sleeping bear to photograph themselves using the design from their various global locations, and send their experiences of using the sleeping bag to create a collage that expresses the freedom of animals to be able to wander around without threat.