It’s somewhat of a divine intervention: Dolly Parton Releases first single from upcoming rock album. RockstarOne of her biggest admirers was also killed in the same day Alice Hawkins Releases her second photobook and exhibition with the same title. Dear Dolly.

Last night at the Dalston East London based women’s gallery Have A ButchersHawkins has spoken with the author and The Messy Truth podcast host Gem Fletcher. Speaking to an intimate audience, the conversation unpacked Hawkins’ life and how Dear Dolly It came into being.

Hawkins has been a photographer for many years and has worked with the best. i-D, Vogue, POP, Enjoy the best of both worlds with this amazingShe has always felt that America is calling her. The obsession started when she was very young. She grew up in a rural British town where her family had welcomed American Veterans into their home. Being surrounded by older American women who were glamorous was probably what started her love of their living icons such as Dolly Parton. After meeting Dolly, watching her perform on tour, and photographing her, her love for Dolly grew. Dear Dolly.

Best put in Hawkins’ own words, “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.”

She was brave, for she travelled across America in one week, visiting diners, streets and homes as well as fields, all dressed up in Dolly clothing. Over a period of 10 years, Dear Dolly The singer received a lot of love letters from admirers. As a result, photos range from a younger Hawkins in the States to the photographer pregnant with twins, and also finds various other women who are inspired by Dolly — both in their daily lives, or so much so, that they are an impersonator.

Dear DollyThe exhibition includes 19 images taken by Hawkins. It allows you to see her work at a greater scale. There are editions available as well as the 200-page 32cm x26cm hardback of the same name. This book features hundreds of photographs over the last decade along with essays and more.

Find out exhibition details here Buy the book here.

Other news Shezad Dawood has worked with Priya Ahluwalia to create abstract costumes.

Dear Dolly, May 4 – June 2
Have A Butchers
Unit 2
65 Dalston Lane
E8 2NG

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