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Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden

Janet Hawley



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01 October 2015
Gardening; Gardens (descriptions, history etc)
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This wonderful coffee-table book is a really striking production that is part-memoir, part-gardening and part-history, covering Wendy's early life, her time with Brett and daughter Arkie, whilst also looking at early Lavender Bay and the neglected land bordering the bay that Wendy and a team of enthusiasts have transformed into a garden for all. Craig Kirchner

This is the extraordinary story of how a determined, passionate and deeply creative woman has slowly transformed an overgrown wasteland into a beautiful sanctuary for everyone to enjoy - and in the process, transformed herself. For more than twenty years Wendy Whiteley has worked to create a public garden at the foot of her harbourside home in Sydney's Lavender Bay. 

Wendy Whiteley was Brett Whiteley's wife, muse and model. An artist herself, with a finely honed aesthetic sense, she also created the interiors at the heart of Brett's iconic paintings of their Lavender Bay home. When Brett died, followed by the death nine years later of their daughter Arkie, Wendy threw her grief and creativity into making an enchanting hidden oasis out of derelict land owned by the New South Wales Government.

This glorious guerrilla garden is Wendy's living artwork, designed with daubs of colour, sinuous shapes and shafts of light. This is Wendy's story but it's also the story of the countless people who cherish the Secret Garden.

'I've loved making this garden. It's been a great gift to my life. It let me find myself again, and it's my gift to share with the public.' Wendy Whiteley

By:   Janet Hawley
Imprint:   Lantern
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 327mm,  Width: 256mm,  Spine: 27mm
Weight:   2.091kg
ISBN:   9781921383939
ISBN 10:   1921383933
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   01 October 2015
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Janet Hawley enjoyed a wide readership in her thirty-year career as a senior feature writer on Good Weekend Magazine, published in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. She's renowned for her intimate profiles of artists and creative people, and trusted by her interview subjects to explore their private worlds and mysteries of the creative process. She's published two books on artists, Artists In Conversations and Encounters With Australian Artists. Her book, A Place on the Coast, co-authored with Philip Cox, explores love of gardens, art and architecture. Her wide-ranging feature writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian has won her numerous major awards, including two Walkley Awards and the Gold Walkley. Janet's long friendship with Brett and Wendy Whiteley led to her writing the story of Wendy's major opus, the Secret Garden.

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