13 Sep 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

In the Globe this summer, I read of Canadian born Author/Photographer Dare Wright…and I’m still reading!

from wroughtironstyle.wordpress.com

This utterly fascinating woman has led me on a bit of a chase, the kind of chase I adore;  delving deeper into her story, her body of work (children’s books mostly) and then her biographical tale via Jean Nathans book from 2004.  Wright essentially spent 30 years photographing doll Edith and teddy bears Mr. Bear and Little Bear.

Initially it was sweet dolly pics that caught my eye and I thought might interest my daughter….but slowly, and as I was able to get a hold of the out of print works, the complexity and sometimes dark and haunting side of ‘The Lonely Doll series‘ reveals itself.

Wright lived an unusually complex life that included work as an actress, model and fashion photographer, but it was her relationship with her complicated controlling mother that shaped her career.  I’ve left out the famous spanking scene pics, but ever this tableau at the dressing table sends a little chill.  David LaChapelle is a big fan, probably why Fred Torros has allegedly agreed to host an exhibition of her work in New York this fall although dates have not been announced.

My daughter HAS adored the Lonely Doll books too, and at 12 I’m sure is not even consciously aware of their more subliminal undercurrents… and it inspired her to start her own little hipstamatic gallery of work much to my delight.

4 Responses to “Childsplay and other Daring discoveries…”

  1. I was inspired greatly by these books when I was a child. I could stare at the black & white images for hours. I was grateful to find Jean Nathan’s biography of Dare. There is a tribute page on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/q1vBYk

  2. avatar linda miller says:

    Loves it. Uncanny but endearing, with intimations of Lady Gaga.

  3. avatar quintessence says:

    Wow – I love your daughter’s charming series. My girls both loved the book as well without, like yours, fully understanding the ramifications. Once you know a bit of the back story, you can sense a little “Turn of the Screw” element to even the cover.

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