Melbourne, Sunday Reed & Joy Hester

Joy Hester and Sunday Reed were two important women in Australian cultural life of the 1940s. Hester was an artist and Sunday Reed, her patron. Hester produced fine, expressionist drawings which are now in Australia's state galleries. When Australian art favored men like Nolan who made big statements about national identity on canvas in paint, Reed was her constant and unflagging audience.

Their letters to one another span 1940-1960, the year of Hester's death. Reed's home was a focus for Melbourne's radical cultural life. Hester was Reed's best friend. When Hester contracted cancer in 1947, Reed adopted her son.

A history of their letters chart the passage of Hester's illness together with Reed's love for her garden, books, poetry, art and friendship. Despite poverty and illness, Hester continued to paint up till her death at aged 40yo.

We visit the location of Joy Hesters studio in Melbourne, and the beginnings of The Angry Penguins. 

Jessie Alice