By Kerryn Moscicki, Radical Yes Founder & Brand Director
There is nothing better about summer than the possibilities that the longer lit days present. We can finally spend time outside, exploring open spaces and feeling summer air on our skin. It’s a mood we believe is best wandered in flat shoes and an anything-can-happen agenda.
With this in mind we present three radical garden dreamscapes we are using our imaginations to conjure this summer, complete with the best matching flat shoes to explore them in.
In 1992 after her famed husband artist Brett Whiteley passed away, Wendy Whiteley took her grief to the earth, rejuvenating a neglected stretch of unused railway land at the bottom of their family home in Sydney’s Lavender Bay. Having never gardened before, Wendy was led by instinct and aesthetic, learning over time what would flourish in the garden’s natural environment. Wendy never asked the authorities for permission and no one told her to stop so she kept going – having now spent more than two decades regenerating the site into a space that represents a place of hope and peace for the visitors who make their way to the North Shore location.
We are dreaming of visiting the ‘secret’ site with a notebook, pencil and in keeping with the palette theme of ‘Lavender Bay’ will be wearing our Sun Ra sandals in Pink and Harvest Canvas Tote in Camel for this adventure.
We have long been inspired by the story of the Field of Lights installation at Uluru and often look to the realisation of this vision as proof that magic happens.
In 1992 on his way back to the UK, British artists Bruce Munro took time to go camping in the Uluru desert. To Munro the desert environment had an incredible feeling of energy, one in which ideas seemed to radiate from, along with the heat.
“There was a charge in the air that gave me a very immediate feeling which I didn’t fully understand, the artist has said, "It was a moment when I felt at one with the world.” It was in this place that Munro conceived of the Field of Lights project, an idea which he initially began exploring in prototype format for Harvey Nichols department store before taking it to larger scale, site specific installations throughout the UK.
Eventually realising his dream, the installation finally found its home in the place where the idea began, opening in Australia in April 2016. Named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in local Pitjantjatjara, Field of Lights is the artists largest work to date, with more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frosted-glass spheres over an area the size of nine football fields.
We will be channelling the determination of the artist's vision this year with our own daydream that sees us dining beside this open field of imagination and realised possibility in our Rise Burgundy Wedges as accent to the ancient red desert landscape.
A visit to the Heide MOMA Gardens has been a long-time summer tradition for our family and so is one of the more accessible places to fire daydreams on our list. For many Melbourne locals the story of Heide doesn’t require much introduction – the home of art benefactors John and Sunday Reed that became the epicentre of the modernist art movement of the 1940s and beyond.
This is the place where Sidney Nolan completed some his best works, where the poet Max Harris bought to life the influential Angry Penguins journal and where Joy Hester would create her startling ink and wash works.
The Gardens at Heide contribute as much to the aesthetics and mythology of this inspired place as the artists and galleries do. Rambling in nature and containing a secret history that speaks of Sunday Reed’s progressive and modern take on the art of living itself, the Kitchen Garden is a highlight of contained grace and intrigue. Punctuated by a menagerie of roses and an abundance of herbs, to this day used for seasonal cooking by the Café Heide.
The well documented threat of snakes will see us in a closed toe option for this Summer adventures. We will be wearing our Journey White Velcro trainers and bold striped Harvest tote for a modernist inspired mood.