It’s Friday morning, Grand Final Eve in Melbourne and sadly already the end of the first week of the school holidays. Melbourne is buzzing with footy atmosphere and anticipation. I start thinking about how to spend the day with my little people. I do like giving them ‘interesting’ experiences. A visit to  Heide  pops into my head.

I remember as a young child visiting Heide Museum of Modern Art with my grandparents.  Heide Museum of  Modern Art or more commonly known as Heide is a contemporary art museum located in Bulleen, east of Melbourne.

Heide was established in 1981 and offers an inspiring, educational and thought provoking experience of art, architecture and landscape. It comprises of several detached buildings and is surrounded by the most magnificent and extensive gardens and paddocks that extend down to the banks of the Yarra River.

The Heide sites comprises of 16 acres. We explore, we meander through the Sculpture Park we walk along paths and forget we are only 15 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.

The museum occupies the site of the former dairy farm that was purchased by art collectors John and Sunday Reed in 1934. They transformed the original Victorian farmhouse into a French provincial-style cottage. The house and property were named Heide in reference to the nearby town of Heidelberg. Heide became the  home to some of Australia’s best known modernist painters including Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Laurence Hope and Joy Hester. They and others were known as the Heide Circle. They lived and worked  in the former farm house which today is known as Heide I.  

We purchase the famous lunch box for just $15 from the absolutely divine Café Vue. My box includes what has to be the best lemon meringue pie I have ever, ever had. I’m not exaggerating it was the best! Café Vue is open for breakfast over the weekend. I think we might just have to visit one morning!

With full tummies we take a look around the Up Close exhibition. Up Close traces the significant legacy of Australian photographer Carol Jerrems. Her work is displayed alongside  that of other photo-based artists from the 1970s and 1980s Larry Clark and Nan Goldin from New York and William Yang from Sydney.

There’s an emotional intensity and intimacy surrounding Carol’s photographs. Carol Jerrems died in Melbourne in February 1980, three weeks before her 31st birthday.

Heide run school holiday activities. Hands-on activities for children to engage with art. I’ll look into these in the future as they were all booked out for these current holidays.

I can’t recommend a visit to Heide enough, it’s a unique space. Just beautiful and interesting. Plenty to explore and enjoy.

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