Born into one of Melbourne's most prominent establishment families, Sunday Baillieu was expected to become a society princess. But this passionate individualist turned her back on upper-class privilege and created a life wholly her own. With her husband, John Reed, Sunday established Heide - a home and the focal point for the development of Australian modernism. In 1935, Sunday and John bought Heide, a modest weatherboard house in rural Heidelberg. Until their deaths in the early eighties, the Reeds lived there and cultivated Australia's most significant circle of artists, including Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, John Perceval, Joy Hester and Charles Blackman. In the words of Albert Tucker, Sunday was 'the magnetic force that drew us together, the eye...' While Sunday was a muse to several generations of Australian artists, Sidney Nolan reamined her lifelong obsession. Gifted, charismatic and visionary, Nolan was mesmerised by Sunday - and she by him. They were lovers for several tempestuous years. But Sunday was more than Nolan's muse. Award-winning biographer Janine Burke argues that she was crucial to his artistic development - preparing his painting materials, inspiring subject
Janine Burke is the award-winning author of fifteen books of art history, biography and fiction. Between 1977 and 1982, she lectured in art history at the Victorian College of the Arts before resigning to write full time. She has degrees in art history from the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and Deakin University. She has written extensively on the Heide Circle, including Joy Hester, Dear Sun- The Letters of Joy Hester and Sunday Reed and The Eye of the Beholder- Albert Tucker's Photographs. Australian Gothic, her acclaimed biography of Tucker, was published by Knopf in 2002 and the final book in the Heide quartet, The Heart Garden, a biography of Sunday Reed, was released in in She has lectured extensively on art, curated exhibitions, written for newspapers and journals and acted as a consultant to films and documentaries. Dr Burke has the approval and co-operation of the Freud Museum, London, where the collection is currently housed.