Three of Cups – Inspired Artist Collective

The Three of Cups is all about creative collaboration and it is a card of celebration, friendship, and sisterhood. When the Three of Cups appears in a Tarot reading, you are encouraged to gather with your closest friends and have a good time together, talking, laughing, sharing and creating. Together, you give and receive the love, support and compassion each of you needs from one another.

Sunday Reed is usually described as an art patron. She and her husband John championed a new generation of Australian artists, including Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, Charles Blackman, and most famously, Sidney Nolan. Nolan met the Reeds in 1938 and became Sunday’s lover. He lived at Heide through his formative years as an artist and later, from 1946 to 1947, painted his celebrated Ned Kelly series on the Heide dining room table.

Arguably the most famous Art Collective in Australia was the Heidleburg School in Bulleen, Melbourne. It was known as the Heide Circle.

Born into one of Melbourne’s most prominent establishment families, Sunday Baillieu was expected to become a society princess. But this passionate individualist turned her back on upper-class privilege and created a life wholly her own. With her husband, John Reed, Sunday established Heide – a home and the focal point for the development of Australian modernism.

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.

In the words of Albert Tucker, Sunday was ‘the magnetic force that drew us together, the eye…’

John and Sunday Reed are arguably Australia’s most famous art patrons and a saucy and deeply unusual couple they were too. Part of their patronage involved free love and they didn’t mind the occasional ménage a trois either. Whatever, they made a lasting contribution to Australian culture through their support of creative endeavours in the visual arts, literature and architecture. In the mid-1950s the Reeds established the Gallery of Contemporary Art and in 1958, with the assistance of friend and entrepreneur Georges Mora, they re-launched the gallery as the Museum of Modern Art of Australia. This eventually led to the formal establishment of the museum.

Joy Hester

“What you had to be”, Hester said when she was nineteen, “was not just one more Picasso or Miro but yourself.”

Between 1938 and 1947 Joy Hester was part of a stimulating and innovative circle of painters—among them (Sir) Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and John Perceval—which was colloquially known as the ‘Angry Penguins’, after the art and literary magazine of the same name published by John Reed and Max Harris. She was the only woman artist in the group. It met regularly at Heide, the home of the art patrons John and Sunday Reed.

Joy Hester produced some of the most distinctive and intriguing imagery to emerge in Australia during the 1940s and 1950s. Working almost exclusively with brush and ink, she focused on potent expressions of the human figure, using drawing as a vehicle to grasp life in all its complexity.

Sunday Reid was Hester’s closest friend, encouraging her work, supporting her financially and later adopting her first son Sweeney.