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A Year with Wendy Whiteley


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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.


'This astonishing, glorious book reveals Wendy Whiteley as she really is-an artist in her own right, a unique personality. Wendy tells the truth: she made a garden for Australia. And found the right person to tell her amazing story.' * Miriam Margolyes *
'A gift of a book-a rare insight into an extraordinary woman. Wise, painful, illuminating: a narrative of resilience and hope. I have so many friends I want to give this beautiful book to.' * Nikki Gemmell *
'Wendy is incisive, opinionated and totally loveable. She cuts to the chase, carrying her vision and creativity wherever she goes. Her approach has always been boots, secateurs, shovel and all. This book is a hidden treasure, filled with unexpected lessons on everything that life has to offer. Wendy's garden may be secret but A Year with Wendy Whiteley reveals the blueprint behind her embrace of life.' * Costa Georgiadis *
'Reflective yet compellingly frank.' * Australian *
'A Year with Wendy Whiteley is the story of an incredible woman who was so much more than the cool girl hanging out with the bad boy. She is a hypnotic artist, who was able to give full expression to her own creativity when she came out from under the shadow of Brett and into the sunshine of her own secret garden.' * Readings *
'The two discuss everything from mortality and grief to celebrity and the art market. Whiteley is wise and candid, and Wilson is a fine interviewer.' * Guardian *
'A marvellous window into an Australian life, a creative life, an important life. * ABC RN Drawing Room *
'Wilson's time with Whiteley allows him to paint detailed brushstrokes of her life...The overall effect is a beautiful portrait of an Australian icon who, despite not seeking the spotlight, fell into it nonetheless; her own artistic ambitions growing in the midst of tragedy and grief, and finding new forms, such as her secret garden.' * ArtsHub *
'An insight into the pain and pleasures of an extraordinarily creative life and the resilience and passions that sometimes fire her soul.' * Australian Women's Weekly *
'An engrossing picture of the subject's life...[A Year with Wendy Whiteley] tells an absorbing story.' * Sydney Morning Herald *
'The exchanges between Whiteley and author Ashleigh Wilson grow gradually and organically to form an engrossing picture. Like a garden, this is a story featuring elements that push upwards into the light, shadowy layers nearly obscured by time, and paths leading to unexpected places.' * PS News *

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