Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm

Watson Road

Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

Margaret Olley: painter, peer, mentor, muse

  • This event finished on 26 March 2017

This major exhibition celebrates the influences of Margaret Olley as an artist from her student days and those she inspired throughout her life. It explores the influences of her teachers on her practice, the inspirations that shaped her as a painter and finally her legacy to those artists she championed. The exhibition includes works by Margaret Olley alongside those of her mentors Caroline Barker and Jean Bellette, her friends Mitty Lee-Brown, Margaret Cilento, William Dobell, Russell Drysdale, Moya Dyring, Donald Friend, Jeffrey Smart, David Strachan and Anne Weinholt and younger artists whose work she championed including Robert Barnes, Criss Canning, Cressida Campbell, Nicholas Harding and Ben Quilty

Curated by Renee Porter, the exhibition is organised in association with the Margaret Olley Art Trust.

Catalogue available $25

List of Works

Public Programs

Sunday 19 February  3pm – Renée Porter, guest curator of the exhibition will talk about Margaret Olley as painter, peer, mentor, muse.

 Sunday 26 February  3pm – Christine France, arts writer, historian, curator & long-time friend of Margaret Olley, shares her memories of the artist and her friendships with other artists. Susi Muddiman OAM, Director Tweed River Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre will talk about the re-creation of Margaret’s hat factory home/ studio from Paddington to Murwillumbah.

Sunday 5 March 3pm – Artists Nicholas Harding & Cressida Campbell will discuss their friendship with Margaret Olley and her legacy. They will be joined by artist Laura Jones who will discuss still-life painting today.

Sunday 12 March 3pm – Meg Stewart, author of the Olley biography, ‘Far from a Still Life’, will discuss the life of the artist.

Sunday 19 March 3pm – Steven Alderton, Director & CEO National Art School will discuss his photographic documentation of Margaret Olley’s hat factory home/ studio and his friendship with the artist



Michaela Boland S.H. Ervin exhibition shows Margaret Olley was larger than still life The Australian 6 January 2017

Christopher Allen Between friends The Australian 17 February

Elizabeth Fortescue Muse with an eclectic eye Thursday 5 January Daily Telegraph

John McDonald  Margaret Olley looked at all the things surrounding her and found inspiration in the everyday Sydney Morning Herald 25 February

Radio Eastside: Maisy Stapleton interviewed Jane Watters Wednesday 11 January 9.30am for broadcast Thursday 12 January together with an interview with Christine France. Website feature:

ABC Radio 702: Weekend program Saturday 14 January Simone Whetton discusses exhibition

ABC Radio 702: Mornings presenter Wendy Harmer interview with Nicholas Harding Monday 23 January 10.30am about the exhibition and Tweed Regional Gallery where he is currently artist in residence


image: MARGARET OLLEY The yellow room triptych 2007  oil on board  138.0 x 290.0cm  New England Regional Art Museum – Purchased through the Yellow Room Appeal 2013 The Howard Hinton Collection