The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Sunday Reed: Just Some Kooky Slut Who Inspired Nicole Kidman’s Baby Name, According To News.com.au

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 9, 2008

So it turns out Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s daughter’s name, Sunday Rose, was inspired by Heide doyenne and one of Australian art’s most fervent supporters, the late Sunday Reed; apparently Nicole’s father Dr Antony Kidman had suggested it as a possible name for their baby after reading about Reed and the Heide school, and Nicole and Keith took a shine to it.

Nothing to complain about there – I’ve always liked the Kidmans (as much as you can “like” a family you only read about in the papers and mags) and it’s a much more thoughtful way of naming a child than the “that’s where she was conceived” trend apparently sweeping the celebrity world.

The problem is not the Kidman Urban clan, no – it’s (somewhat predictably) the Daily Telegraph and News.com.au’s treatment of Reed’s story with this gobsmacking piece of captioning and photo editing – art-loving feminists better shield their eyes:

If you can’t read the caption, it says:

Nicole Kidman’s father has solved the mystery behind her baby daughter’s unusual name – it’s inspired by Aussie artist Sidney Nolan’s bohemian muse whose love life was twisted and saucy.

Yes, “twisted and saucy”. Because apparently a married couple who were trusting of each other and conducted polyamorous affairs with each other’s knowledge is “twisted and saucy”. But wait, there’s more! Another “article” provides the “background” on Reed:

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban will probably hope they have bestowed only Sunday Reed’s name on the child and not her sordid and tumultuous life story.

[...]

Sunday Reed was not averse to extending her patronage beyond the studio and into the bedroom. She enjoyed a menage a trois in which Sidney Nolan and her husband John were the other partners, and her particular affair with Nolan lasted nine years.

“Tumultuous” is probably a fair, if slightly hyperbolic, assessment, but “sordid”?

Do I really need to point out all the ways in which these pieces a) suggest that Nicole needed daddy to pick out her baby’s name, b) imply that Nic and Keith have done their baby wrong by giving her the same name as a “twisted and saucy” art patron, and c) paint Sunday Reed as little more than a shagger with a penchant for artists?

6 Responses to “Sunday Reed: Just Some Kooky Slut Who Inspired Nicole Kidman’s Baby Name, According To News.com.au”

  1. tina_sparkle said

    my god. consenting adults in an honest, respectful, healthy sexual relationship.

    how SORDID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jay Carlson said

    Sounds like News.com.au hit the nail on the head. Only nutcase celebrities would name their kid after some suicidal whore.

  3. Clem Bastow said

    Jay, I sincerely hope that is heavy sarcasm you’re using there.

  4. Mary Lamb said

    Sunday Reed’s suicide manner is a mystery. I have written newspapers in Australia, the Australian Arts Coucil and Heide Museum, and it seems as though it is some national secret. Were told that she was assisted in her suicide by Heide resident Barret Reid. Sunday was not terminally ill. If Reid assisted her, then he’s an accomplice to murder? Does anyone know the manner of suicide.

  5. Kelly Ana Morey said

    Janine Burke had written a great biography of Sunday – The Heart Garden … evidently Sun used to leave paintings leaning against the walls at Heide and her cats used to sparay all over them. She was definitely an interesting woman.

  6. Philip Ayres said

    Sunday Reed’s suicide: the new book “Sunday’s Garden” by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan is unbelievably coy on this, only hinting at it, and certainly not telling us how she did it. I guess that, out of respect, we’re not meant to “go there”. Did she hang herself, perhaps? Or use pills? Anyway, contemporary police records would be easily got hold of by any good researcher, and surviving acquaintances would know. John Reed couldn’t have done it – he was dead over a week earlier. Apparently they had some sort of pact, but this book is coy about the details of that too. Sidney Nolan gave a good description of her sexual whatever as he knew it, in his poem “The Gardener’s Wages”: she seduces him with talk of the stamens and pollen that grow “in all of us”, “But once inside that bossy bower, he found that flesh is paid for by the hour”. A “bossy bower” – a metaphor rich in possibilities. It was not an altogether happy world at Heidi, more a paradise of snakes, according to Nolan’s “Paradise Garden”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 73 other followers

%d bloggers like this: