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Sarah Cunningham Exhibit at Parker Coonawarra Estate debuts on Do It For Dolly Day

Sarah Cunningham Exhibit at Parker Coonawarra Estate debuts on Do It For Dolly Day

Dimity Savage, cellar door manager at Parker Coonawarra Estate in South Australia, has organised the debut photography exhibition of local talent Sarah Cunningham to launch on Do It For Dolly Day.

While Do It For Dolly Day has received an outpouring of support nationwide, the cause is particularly close to home for Dimity, who helped look after Dolly as a child, and remains a close family friend.

Dimity shared Dolly’s story with photographer Sarah Cunningham, a Willalooka native, who immediately embraced the opportunity to raise money for the organisation. As part of the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival in May, her exhibition A Single Detail portrays everyday lives, with a focus on still lifes and landscapes. A silent auction will be held throughout May, with all proceeds donated to Dolly’s Dream.

Sarah selected one of her horse images for auction as a nod to Dolly’s passion for all things equestrian. Taking place from 5-7pm on Friday 13 May, 2022, the exhibition will be held at The Stillage at Parker Coonawarra Estate, complemented with drinks and canapes. Her minimalist-style work allows the viewer to focus on the image without distraction and create their own impressions while reflecting on personal memories.

Memories of Dolly only strengthen Dimity’s commitment to providing parents with resources, proof that even the most confident young people can become victims of bullying. With her daughter Ruby now a similar age to when Dolly took her own life, raising awareness on navigating the evolving cyberworld, where much of the abuse takes place, has become ever more important.

“Ruby reminds me a lot of Dolly, so it resonated pretty hard. What Kate and Tick are doing is amazing, and it’s very dear to our hearts. Raising kids in this cyberworld which is evolving so fast. I have a very sensitive, beautiful young girl. It’s confronting, so I desperately want to do anything I can to raise awareness,” said Dimity. 

“Dolly’s passing was a sensational shock being such a bold, courageous young girl. My children saw me so upset so I had to explain. They know her story, and that it can happen to anyone. Having Dolly as an actual person they can refer to makes it so much more real and understandable.” 

Dimity says, “I want to support that beautiful girl every day. She had so much more to give in her life. I want to normalise the conversation and make it for people. Tough, rural blokes will be one of the demographics attending the art exhibition. It doesn’t matter who or where you are — this isn’t going away. I want to make sure this day happens every year for as long as I live, and my children will continue to do the same.”

“This initiative is mind-blowing and I have the utmost respect for the family’s bravery. Rather than feeling sorry for themselves, they are doing the most important thing by making their voices heard. I wish I could make a huge statement, but I know in my heart that any gesture is enough for Kate, Tick and Meg. It means the absolute world, all the way down in South Australia. It’s nowhere near where the heart of it happens, but we have country kids on the bus who have their lunch box tipped out too — it’s everywhere.”

For tickets, visit https://coonawarra.org/event/sarah-cunningham-photography-exhibition-official-opening/