Celebrating Margaret Olley’s Yellow Room

Margaret Olley_Yellow RoomA new exhibition at the Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC) celebrates the iconic artist’s “sanctuary” and favourite room in her Sydney home – the Yellow Room, with a stunning selection of paintings from the early 1990s until 2011 – the year of her death.

The Duxford Street house in Paddington was Margaret Olley’s home studio for more than 40 years and included a small, pale yellow room at the rear of the Victorian terrace that formed the front section of the property. It was her sanctuary – a place to live and a place to paint. Its significance to Olley’s life and work led to the room’s re-creation in the Margaret Olley Art Centre at Tweed Regional Gallery.

“Olley’s depictions of the room are imbued with warmth, optimism and a sense of generosity that invite you into her home,” says MOAC Curator and Collections Manager Ingrid Hedgcock.

“They illustrate her fascination for the changing qualities of light, as she painted the room at different times of day. They also display her characteristic choreography of everyday objects in and around the room.”

The paintings in this exhibition are complemented by preparatory sketches and unfinished boards. The unfinished boards are at various stages of progress, so they reveal the layers of paint and colour that Olley worked through on the way to a finished work.

Her process and approach to painting is also the inspiration for a new interactive digital painting program at MOAC that allows visitors to create their own artwork. The interactive program allows the mixing of colours on a screen, simulating the process Olley undertook by mixing oil paint on board.

Margaret Olley Estate co-executor Philip Bacon AM has announced the Estate will soon be donating 143 unfinished paintings by the late artist to Tweed Regional Gallery and MOAC.

The Yellow Room: Margaret Olley is on display until 15 March 2015. For more information, visit: www.artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au for details.

Image: Margaret Olley (1923 – 2011), Yellow room, evening 1993, 61 x 76cm, Oil on board, Private collection, courtesy Philip Bacon Galleries © The Margaret Olley Estate

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