April, 1947. The artist Joy Hester - the beautiful peroxide-blonde bombshell of the Melbourne art world - discovers she is dying of cancer. She is 27 years old. Hester responds to the news as only Hester could - within days, she abandons her artist husband Albert Tucker, leaves her two-year-old son Sweeney asleep in his cot and runs off to Sydney with a lover â€¦
Never widely acknowledged by critics in her day, Hester was one of the first to deal head-on with the inner world of love, sexuality and male-female relationships.
Now, 50 years after her death, she has become accepted as one of Australiaâ€™s great artists along with her old friends, lovers, husbands and comrades - Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker, Charles Blackman and John Perceval.
Her life was short but tumultuous. She flourished at the heart of the radical Bohemian art scene in Melbourne in the 1940s, and in the 1950s her personal life became the raw material for her work: a large volume of brush, pen and ink drawings, oil paintings and many poems, all dealing with the challenging world of sensation and emotion.