Monday, August 8

Margaret Olley and Ben Quilty

I was saddened over the weekend to hear from my mum that my favourite artist, Margaret Olley passed away on 26th July at the age of 88. Apparently she was working on about 40 paintings for a show in September - her first in many years. My work is massively influenced by her, particularly still life and interiors, or views of the back garden out the window. She just painted whatever she liked, not trying to be fashionable or popular or being of a particular style - she made her own style.
This is a small excerpt from The Sydney Morning Herald article on her death: "Olley was a free-spirited and independent woman who never married or had children. It was not a role she was cut out for, she said.

She once described herself as "a one-woman band, too independent to be subservient to anyone".
But she had a number of enduring friendships, including with Friend who once described her as "sensible and sensitive and tender, stubborn and intelligent, proud, simple and complicated".
Olley grew up on sugar-cane farms in northern NSW and Queensland. At 19 she began studying art at East Sydney Technical College where "my life began, I was like a flower suddenly pollinated".
She held her first solo show in 1948 and more than 90 others have followed.
She battled alcohol in her early years and depression in later but defeated both.
She continued to paint most days.
Asked to describe her body of work once she replied: "I never see myself fitting in anywhere. I just like to lose myself in the work, let the painting take over."
AAP reports: In 2006, Olley was awarded Australia's highest civilian honour, the Companion of the Order, for service as one of Australia's most distinguished artists, for philanthropy to the arts, and for encouragement of young and emerging artists.
"It's such a great award. I'm overawed," Olley said at the time.
"I thought just judges and just very important people got it.
"I'm not important. I just do what I want to do."

This year's Archibald Prize was won by Ben Quilty with his portrait of Margaret Olley. I found this lovely interview on You Tube by Margaret Throsby with both Margaret Olley and Ben Quilty (above video).
Artist Ben Quilty with his kids and an Archibald-winning portrait of Margaret Olley, and the subject herself, at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney. Picture: Alan Pryke Source: The Courier-Mail
 Untitled (Interior)
Jersey Rd, Paddington

1 comment:

  1. Great post, NAt. I love her paintings too.
    Quilty's Archibald portrait is amazing how it captures her likeness with just a few marks. The actual painting looked even better.
    Hope there's no violence in your area.
    Cheers Graham


Hello - please leave a comment if you feel inspired!


Related Posts with Thumbnails