Wendy's Secret Garden
About ten years ago I read the biography of Australian artist Brett Whiteley and thus began my continuing fascination with him of course, but mainly his wife Wendy.
I wish I knew Wendy. I wish I could knock on her door and have a glass of wine with her in the late afternoon. I'd be wearing something black and baggy...and a turban, so we'd kind of match.
She is often called a 'cultural icon'. While she is probably most famous for being Brett's wife and muse, she would have probably been well known, her own right, without him.
She comes from a long line of notable and creative characters. Her grandfather, Sir George Julius was the co-founder of the CSIRO, and her great-aunt, Kate O’Connor, was an extremely eccentric and larger-than-life painter who lived in Paris most of her life and wore a bright red wig.
If you don't know much about Brett and Wendy Whiteley, look them up. They are insanely interesting.
Brett died in 1992, but Wendy still lives in the house they shared in Sydney's Lavender Bay.
Originally, I was trying to find photos of Wendy's house. It has been one of my influences with high white walls and ceilings and timber flooring, to create a backdrop like an art gallery. However, I couldn't find any. Her house was photographed a few years ago for Vogue or one of those magazines. I remember she had a gorgeous zinc coated table in her kitchen.
While looking for pictures of her house I came across photos of her garden. The garden has been established for quite a while now. She built the garden on public land near her house after Brett died, then later their only child, the very beautiful Arkie. Brett and Arkie's ashes are in the garden somewhere, but only Wendy knows where.
Since I have discovered my new fondness for gardening, Wendy's garden interests me more now, and I'd just love to visit it.
Here are some photos. Can you believe the view?!
This is Wendy with her house in the background.
She always wears a turban or some sort of head dress. It reminds me of Little Edie with her perpetual skarf.
I will visit this garden myself one day soon. That's an excellent list actually - 'Places to Visit'. I'll write it down.