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A Year with Wendy Whiteley : Conversations About Art, Life and Gardening - Ashleigh Wilson

A Year with Wendy Whiteley

Conversations About Art, Life and Gardening

By: Ashleigh Wilson

Hardcover | 1 November 2022

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A must-have for culture lovers, A Year with Wendy Whiteley sees the biographer and critic Ashleigh Wilson painting a portrait of the inimitable Wendy Whiteley-in her own words.

We sit at the table, opposite each other, a tape recorder and a microphone between us, and I begin by saying that I don't want to start with Brett.

'That's a good idea.' Wendy looks at me and smiles. 'I didn't start with Brett.'

These days Wendy Whiteley is a legendary figure in the art world, the keeper of the Brett Whiteley legacy, best known for creating the Secret Garden on the land below her house on Sydney Harbour. But before she met Brett, Wendy was herself a budding artist; her creative work ever since has been under-recognised.

Wendy is a survivor- of drug dependence, bitter divorce, the deaths of Brett and their beloved daughter, Arkie. More than that, she is a remarkable figure whose life has had its own contours and priorities. Now in her early eighties-reflective yet outspoken, with a dry wit-she has much to tell about it.

The product of many hours of candid conversations at the kitchen table in Lavender Bay with acclaimed Brett Whiteley biographer Ashleigh Wilson, and supplemented by extensive research and interviews with others, this is the unforgettable story of Wendy's life.

About the Author

Ashleigh Wilson is a journalist who worked at the Australian for two decades, including as arts editor. His series on unethical behaviour in the Aboriginal art industry won a Walkley Award and led to a senate inquiry. He is the author of Brett Whiteley- Art, Life and the Other Thing (2016) and On Artists (2020). Wilson lives in Sydney with his partner, a designer, and their son.

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