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Thu 3 October 2024 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, repeating until Sun December 8, 2024

An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Sunday, repeating until Sun December 8, 2024

An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating until Sun December 8, 2024

Cairns Art Gallery

Margaret Olley – A Life in Art Exhibition at Cairns Art Gallery

Margaret Olley: A Life in Art tells the story of Olley’s incredible life and enduring career through her greatest legacy – her art.


The exhibition includes artwork from as early as 1938, painted at just 15 years of age, through to 2011, the year of her death. Olley’s incredible career, enormous capacity for friendship and dedication to the art world, have made her one of Australia’s most loved and celebrated artists. Her journey as an artist can be explored and contextualised through the diverse nature of the works in this exhibition, drawn exclusively from the collection at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre.


“I can think of no other painter of the present time who orchestrates his or her themes with such undiluted richness as Margaret Olley. She is a symphonist among flower paintings; a painter who calls upon the full resources of the modern palette to express her joy in the beauty of living things”, James Gleeson, artist, 1964.


This exhibition includes interiors and still lifes from Duxford Street as well as photographs by her artist friend Greg Weight, who photographed her home studio in the days following her passing in 2011.


“Her house was a living part of her art… She was exactly where she wanted to be, in the midst of her art and her life, and it was here that she produced some of her best work”, Christine France, friend, curator, historian, biographer.


Comprised of over 20,000 objects, the re-creation of Olley’s home studio opened at the Tweed Regional Gallery in 2014. As the home studio provided both site and subject matter for her painting for nearly 50 years, it is a fitting tribute to her life and legacy and gives a rich insight into her approach to still life painting.


Furthering her legacy of supporting early and mid-career artists, the home studio continues to inspire contemporary artists and this exhibition includes responses to the home studio re-creation by artists such as Monica Rohan, John Honeywill, Pam Tippett and others.


Although Olley established herself as a landscape painter and explored figurative works, portraiture and of course interiors, it is her rich, evocative flower paintings that first come to mind when we think of Margaret Olley – Australia’s most celebrated painter of still life. This exhibition celebrates her extraordinary life and her enduring career and her tremendous legacy in Australian art history.


– Text by Ingrid Hedgcock, Director, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre.


The re-creation of Margaret Olley’s home studio is on permanent display at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre and is complemented by a dynamic program of changing exhibitions.


Exhibition Runs: 7th September – 8th December 2024


Entry: Free Entry


For more information please visit the Cairns Art Gallery website.


Please check directly with the Cairns Art Gallery for opening hours on Public Holidays.


Image: Margaret OLLEY (1923 – 2011) Cornflowers and red lacquer compote 2010/11, oil on board, 76 x 102 cm, Tweed Regional Gallery Collection, Gift of the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation Ltd,2023 © Margaret Olley Art Trust.



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Thu 3 October 2024
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Cairns Art Gallery
+61 7 4046 4800
View Organiser Website


Cairns Art Gallery
40 Abbott St
Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
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+61 7 4046 4800
View Venue Website