THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006.
THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006. Nadine Fisher

Expert's talk on Olley's life is not to be missed

A RARE insight into the life of one of Australia's most cherished and perhaps most famous hoarders - Margaret Olley - will be showcased at an upcoming exclusive tour and dinner.

The eccentric artist and her equally as colourful Paddington home-studio was kept intact after Olley's death in 2011 and recreated at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery.

It will be showcased on Saturday, October 29, by film-maker and journalist Meg Stewart, who wrote the award-winning biography Margaret Olley: Far From a Still Life.

Stewart will lead the tour also taking in the Margaret Olley Art Centre's (MOAC) current exhibition; uniquely placed to speak on the works from a first-hand perspective.

Olley approved Stewart to open the "Pandora's box" of her life story after being impressed by her previous biographical works and her personality.

"Because my mum was an artist and had I had grown up around artists in some ways I felt quite at home in the Hat Factory," Stewart told the Tweed Daily News.

"She had a great sense of humour and one of the things that made working with her so interesting was that she was very keen to take part in the writing of the book, so she did devote herself.

"The most rewarding thing, ultimately, aside from actually finishing the book, which was probably the biggest challenge of my life, was getting to spend so much time with her.

"It didn't always seem easy because we were working, but it was an incredible privilege to work on that book in the living room, dining table and the sitting room now at the Tweed Gallery."

MOAC curator and collections manager Ingrid Hedgcock said Stewart's talk would bring "even more life to those rooms, the fascinating items that fill them, the artist who painted them and the equally interesting people Olley hosted at her home".

Guests to Margaret Olley's home included comedian Barry Humphries, former Governor-General Quentin Bryce - all covered in the biography which is described as both comprehensive and intimate.

The gallery and Tweed Shire Council have combined to host the tour and dinner as part of the Tweed Fusion festival and will feature fresh farm produce from local producers.

"It will be a night of fine dining and a privileged peek further into the life of one of Australia's most celebrated painters," Ms Hedgcock said.

Olley died in 2011, aged 88, with more than 300,000 people visiting MOAC since its opening in 2014.

Tour with author


- Tickets are $115 and bookings are essential before Sunday, October 16.


- Contact the gallery on (02) 6670 2790 between Wednesday and Sunday 10am to 5pm to book.


- For more information, visit www.artgallery.

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