Friday, January 18, 2008

The Heart Garden

On a recent trip to Melbourne I visited the Heide Museum of Modern Art to see the current portrait exhibition and sculpture gardens. The museum is situated in the heritage listed grounds of the former home of heiress Sunday Reed.

Sunday created an amazing life at Heide in the where she and her husband John cultivated a vibrant community of modernist artists including Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan. The kitchen garden remains true to her original design and the grounds merge French formalism with Eucalypts. I sat for hours under a massive Oak tree reading 'The Heart Garden' the biography of Sunday Reed written by Janine Burke.

Sunday is inspirational for many reasons. She freed herself from the decorative role of upper class women in the 1930's to really engage her brilliance and passion by surrounding herself with people who fascinated her, greatly influencing Australia's Modernist art movement.

Those who made and those who saw. Portraits of the Heide circle exhibition catalogue
© Heide Museum of Modern Art


Anonymous said...

How did Sunday Reed commit suicide? I've written five newspapers in Australia, had on online chat with the State Library of Victoria and no one seems to know. It's not on the internet. The library said they could get back to me in a few days, but I'm hoping maybe you know?

mrs tulip said...

I read 'The Heart Garden' Janine Burke's biography of Sunday Reed. She says that when John became very ill he and Sunday made plans for euthanasia together, collecting 'a large quantity of prescription pills'. They asked two doctors advice but 'finally had to rely on our own resources'. Eleven days after John died from his illness, Sunday took her life. How exactly she did so is a mystery.

Sorry I can't help you any more than that, good luck in your search.