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Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Some rarely seen artworks by eminent Australian artist Margaret Olley will on display in a new exhibition that opens at NERAM this Friday. 

Ode to Olley will feature significant works from NERAM’s collection and works sourced from local private collections that have seldom been seen on public display.

“This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to not only acknowledge Margaret Olley and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of her birthday, but to also recognise the immense impact of her legacy and connection to the New England Region,” said NERAM director Rachael Parsons.

“Margaret Olley has had such a significant influence on art in Australia and also very specifically to us at NERAM. She is one of Australia’s most significant still life and interior painters, and one of the most loved. 

“Olley visited Armidale and NERAM on many occasions, to visit family and paint at their property at Wallamumbi and to attend exhibition openings and events. Her visits are still discussed by our community, and I have heard many stories, fondly retold.

“It feels like she is part of the cultural history and memory of NERAM and Armidale, and her art is not only a popular feature of our collection but also appears in a number of private collections in the area. We are very privileged to be able to display some of these privately owned works in this exhibition.”      

Ms Parsons said Margaret Olley was a tremendous supporter and benefactor of NERAM, donating 15 artworks to the NERAM collection, both her own work and those of other Australian artists.

“This relationship of support was continued by the Margaret Olley Art Trust who and generously donated funding to the art museum and facilitated, under the leadership of Philip Bacon, the acquisition of Margaret Olley’s seminal work The Yellow Room Triptych 2007, which was acquired thanks a hugely successful community fundraising campaign led by Packsaddle and the Friends of NERAM,” she said.  

Margaret Olley painted in many different styles but was best known for her still lifes. Her lifelong love of nature found expression in exuberant paintings of flora, which charmed the public and the critics. 

Top image: a volunteer hangs a Margaret Olley work on loan to NERAM from a private collection.

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