Margaret Olley was one of Australia’s finest, most significant and certainly most loved artists.

Her work concentrated on a still life perspective.
Her studio, a Paddington terrace in Sydney which she bought in 1964,  was a living part of her existance. In fact the studio became as famous as the painter herself.
Now, incredibly, that studio has been lovingly and exactly recreated, object by object, at the Tweed River Regional Gallery, a region where Olley spent her childhood years. It’s an inspirational legacy of her life and work and well worth a visit.

Inspiration came from her home and studio, everyday objects that surrounded her – vases of flowers (frequently dead), stuffed birds, driftwood, jugs, decanters, bowls of fruit: thousands of items that became the subjects of her still life paintings for more than 50 years.

Olley held over 90 exhibitions during her life but many believe her finest work was produced in the last 18 months of her life.  Her final paintings were exhibited at Sotherby’s Australia in 2012.  She had put the final touches on the show the day before she died, aged 88,  Painting was her one sustaining passion, “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do”, she said.

I found the iPad sketches most interesting as the whole creation process is shown from start to finish – each mark made (he uses his fingers rather than a stylus), each colour added and each technique used. There is a fun interactive activity where you are able to attempt to draw Maragrets work.

The Margaret Ollie Exhibition was a fantastic experience.

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