Margaret Olley: Far from Still Life

Tweed Shire Council

Studio? Who needs a studio? I paint anywhere the mood takes me. Easel? Who needs an easel? Margaret Olley

The latest exhibition in the Margaret Olley Art Centre tells the story of Olley’s incredible life and enduring career through her greatest legacy – her art.

Presented exclusively at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Margaret Olley’s birthday, the exhibition is drawn entirely from the Tweed Regional Gallery collection.

Olley painted in her famous Duxford Street home studio in Paddington, Sydney for nearly five decades, but as a fledgling artist she established herself as a landscape painter and throughout her life, travel was a regular past-time, making her life far from still.

“This exciting exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to understand Olley the artist, the world traveller, the friend, the muse, the philanthropist,” Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM said.

“But above all else, she was a painter, and her greatest legacy is her art. This exhibition celebrates her 100th birthday anniversary with this dynamic collection of work that provides breadth and insight into her extraordinary career.”

The earliest painting in the exhibition is a still life painting Olley did at high school when she was just 15 years old. The latest is Cornflowers and Red Lacquer Compote 2010/11 painted in the final year of her life, age 88 years.

“This is a unique opportunity to a diverse collection of works by Australia’s most celebrated artist,” Ms Muddiman said.

To celebrate Olley’s enormous capacity for friendship, visitors to the exhibition can take a moment to write a postcard to a friend and post it in the Gallery. This is a free activity with postcards featuring artwork by Margaret Olley.

Far from a Still Life will be on display in the Margaret Olley Art Centre from until 8 October 2023. The exhibition is complemented by activities and events including free, drop-in artmaking activities for families during the summer school holidays and master class painting workshops for adults. For all activity and event details visit the Gallery website

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