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Garage discovery gives rare insight into private life of Australian icon Olive Cotton

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The romantic notion of hidden family secrets became a reality for photographer and writer Sally McInerney when her aunt Haidee showed her a handful of damaged photographs which she had salvaged from her flooded garage in Gunnedah.

Sally painstakingly pieced together the stories behind the photographs, along with her own collection, by interviewing family and friends over 10 years.


Sally crafted a beautiful and haunting artist’s book which includes eleven rarely seen photos by Sally’s mother, the late Olive Cotton, one of Australia’s greatest photographers. It also reveals little-known aspects of Olive Cotton’s life after her marriage to photographer Max Dupain ended in separation in 1941.


Family Fragments, a new exhibition opening at the State Library of NSW from 13 February 2016.

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