Art and nature: Sunday Reed and Autumn Laing

When I finished reading Alex Miller’s latest novel, Autumn Laing, a coincidence led me to a book that Miller himself read in the process of creating Autumn Laing. This latter book is The Heart Garden: Sunday Reed and Heide, by art historian Janine Burke.

To simply move from one of these books to the other is no great step, as Autumn Laing is loosely based on the historical figures of Sunday and John Reed, patrons of modern art in Melbourne, and on Sidney Nolan, Sunday Reed’s lover who lived for many years with the Reeds at their home, Heide, now the Heide Museum of Modern Art.

But I would perhaps not have gone on to read The Heart Garden were it not for my internship at The Conversation. I came across a press release about Janine Burke’s latest book Nest: The Art of Birds, and contacted Janine to ask her to write a short piece for us, not yet aware that she was Sunday Reed’s biographer. Continue reading