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  • Ray Monde

Why I love Heidi so much

There’s an art museum on the outskirts of Melbourne that has changed and informed the way I live my life. In many ways, it has set the trajectory for the my life, this life, the one I’m breathing in now.

The Heide Museum of Modern Art, or Heidi as it’s adoringly known, was set up by John and Sunday Reed becoming an intimate home for the arts.


Sidney Nolan, Wimmera Landscape, 1943

“Soon after purchasing the fifteen acre property on which Heide stands in 1934, founders John and Sunday Reed opened their home to like-minded individuals such as artists Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, John Perceval and Danila Vassilieff. They nurtured a circle of artists, writers and intellectuals who contributed to Heide becoming a place for the discussion, creation and promotion of modern art and literature.

John and Sunday made a lasting contribution to Australian culture through their support of creative endeavours in the visual arts, literature and architecture.”

The Museum has two amazing buildings – the old house and the new wing, both beautifully rendered and a true inspiration to be there. It makes me wonder how they got together, how did these artists come to be together in the same place at the same time – or was it that because they were fostered by the Reeds that the artists established a foothold?


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My home, my place in the country, isn’t Heidi. We don’t have artists collected around our fire talking, drinking, sleeping with each other and musing on life.

But at Heidi there’s feeling of serenity and a sense of something, a sense – not of history – but of hope and true faith in the arts. A blind faith that art is all  that matters, whatever the cost.

There’s a daring, breathtaking simplicity to that way of living, where art is everything.

When arts funding is being slaughtered, it gives a real hope that no matter what, arts are important to some people and they will foster it in their hearts.

So what’s my plan? To create art. To see art. To congratulate artists on their work. And, when I can, to buy art that I love. In my own way, I am trying to capture that sense I get every time that I visit Heidi; I feel healed, rejuvenated –  it’s something only the arts can do.


Monde Monde artist at home with Trim the dog, Sept 2012

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