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Alice Hawkins - Dear Dolly

Alice Hawkins - Dear Dolly

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For Alice Hawkins second book ‘Dear Dolly’, the photographer uses herself to appropriate the imagery and guises employed by country western sensation and American dream, Dolly Parton. As Hawkins states herself ‘I have always embraced my fantasies through my photography. Sought the unfashionable, audacious, gaudy and glamorous, and used my work as a guise to experiment with my own identity, because I have dreams of being as brave and ostentatious myself.’

Shot over a 10 year period, the book sees Alice travel the world as Parton “I threw my inspiration into a suitcase, got on a plane and stepped right into them”. The series also stars a cast of friends, family and Dolly fans who all adorn make-up, costumes, props and prosthetics to manipulate their appearances into Dolly.

‘Dear Dolly’ investigates how Parton dismantles stereotypes surrounding class and female representations through the singer’s music and appearance. As an academic, Dr. James Barker argues ‘ Parton’s visual persona, is loaded with meaning. The ‘country girl’s idea of glam’ represents a class consciousness, taking middle-class beauty standards and ideals and subjecting them to a working-class lens. 

‘Dear Dolly’ also includes an introduction by Susie Rushton, the Deputy Editor of Telegraph Luxury, and a Contributing Editor to The Gentlewoman and an essay by Dr. James Barker whose work explores LGBTQ+ belonging in country music, using Dolly Parton as his main case study.

‘Dear Dolly’ is designed by Suburbia, Creative Directors of British Vogue.

Alice Hawkins Bio

Alice Hawkins is a London-based photographer whose work examines the societal definitions of femininity and gender. Since graduating from Camberwell College of Art in 2001, she has contributed to Pop, i-D, LOVE to Vogue. Hawkins has exhibited internationally with group and solo shows at Somerset House, London to UCCA, Beijing, China. Hawkins's first book, entitled ‘Alice’s Adventures’ was published in 2017 by Thames & Hudson, ‘Dear Dolly’ is the photographers second book, published in 2022 by Baron.

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