“The history permeates all throughout the place,” Sue Curwood explains. “It’s all these little personal details that really makes it so unique.”
She's speaking, of course, of the Heide Museum of Modern Art.
Spread across 15 lush acres on the banks of the Yarra River, Heide has been the spiritual home of modern art in Australia for more than 80 years.
Once a derelict dairy farm, the land was bought by John and Sunday Reed in the early 1930s with the express intention of creating a gallery. Passionate patrons of the arts, the Reeds gathered around them a coterie of artists, which would come to be known as the Heide Circle.
The group included icons of Australian modernism including Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker and Joy Hester, and became equally infamous for the intimately intertwined lives of its members.
“There are these fantastic stories of wild parties and quite a lavish lifestyle that they lived here surrounded by creatives,” Curwood says. “It became a sort of incubator for Australian modern and contemporary art.”
Heide has continued to support and foster talent, exhibiting the work of emerging and established artists from Australia and overseas.
“Heide is quite unique because we have three distinct buildings, each with their own histories and personalities.” Curwood explains, “In Heide I, we will often reflect on that history by having a lot of the archival artists displayed, whereas Heide II has a real modernist collection and Heide III is often contemporary art.”
As you walk through these galleries, you are surrounded by moments of Australia's artistic history. Here, a meeting of the notorious literary magazine Angry Penguins, which the Reeds also supported. And there, in the dining room of Heide I, where Sidney Nolan painted his iconic Ned Kelly works.
This summer, Heide III houses a landmark exhibition of Arthur Boyd's 'Brides' collection. The works were Boyd's response to his shock at the treatment of Indigenous Australians and were sold all across the world, launching his successful career.
"This marks one of the first times since the initial exhibition in the late 1950s that the works have been shown together,” Curwood notes.
It was only a few months ago that Curwood began working at Heide as its marketing and communications manager but says she's already fallen in love with the place.
“You're surrounded by a group of people who work here that are a very creative bunch.” she says.
Imagine nipping out on your lunch break to stroll through the sculpture park, or taking your meetings over a coffee at Shannon Bennett’s Cafe Vue.
“You can take a walk around the gardens, admire the sculptures and walk through the galleries.” she says, “It's such a tranquil, peaceful setting and it's so inspiring to be surrounded by the artworks, which are constantly changing.”
To find new members of their small, passionate team, Heide uses Scout, Broadsheet’s new jobs website. Scout focuses on the industries Broadsheet knows best - hospitality, media & marketing, retail and creative services.
And, if you’re keen to finish your year knowing you'll be starting the next one in style, HOSTPLUS is giving away an indulgent weekend for two at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival including a table at Vue de Monde and a helicopter flight to Yering Station in the Yarra Valley. For your chance to win simply move your super together with HOSTPLUS.
See hostplus.com.au for terms and conditions.