Wendy Whiteley is an artist, cultural figure and the wife of the late artist Brett Whiteley. She welcomed Ashleigh Wilson (Arts Editor at the Australian) into her life for four years while he worked on his biography of Brett, giving him unprecedented access, rare notebook sketches and candid family photos. The result is Art, Life & The Other Thing, a dazzling biography of Brett, which reveals for the first time the full portrait of a mercurial artist. Wendy and Ashleigh talk to Anna Schwartz about the intimate process of honouring a great artist.
Ashleigh Wilson (Australian)
Ashleigh Wilson has been a journalist for almost two decades. He began his career at The Australian in Sydney before spending several years in Brisbane. He moved north in 2004 to become the paper’s Darwin correspondent, during which time he won a Walkley Award for reports on unethical behaviour in the Aboriginal art industry. He has been the paper’s arts editor since 2011. The Brett Whiteley biography is his first book.
Wendy Whiteley (Australian)
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.
Anna Schwartz (Australian)
Anna Schwartz has owned her contemporary art gallery in Melbourne for 35 years. She has worked with leading artists, supporting and representing their practice, and presenting exhibitions and major projects in Australia and internationally. Anna, with her husband Morry Schwartz run ’Schwartz City’, a publishing imprint for books on artists. She developed a large gallery at Sydney's Carriageworks, which through her endowment, is now a public gallery. Anna Schwartz and Wendy Whiteley have been close friends for almost 50 years, through times of great change.