I have long been an admirer of paintings by Margaret Olley and as I learnt more about this remarkable grand dame I liked her style even more. So when I read that the S H Ervin Gallery in Sydney was host to a touring exhibition of her work I HAD to go and take a look.
The blurb says that this exhibition “provides an insight into the world around Margaret Olley from the early 1950’s to the the 1970’s”. The watercolours and pen and ink studies on display (which are essentially her travel notes) show scenes of her home town of Brisbane (also mine), Paris, New Guinea, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Venice and Sydney. It is remarkable to think that the then 25 year old travelled the world in 1949 – a very different world than the one I have seen. It was only 2 years since World War II ended.
Better known for her Still Life paintings, these artworks easily show her eye for detail, colour and everyday scenes. Her first trip abroad to London and Paris in 1949 was the beginning of a life-long romance with travel, of visiting museums, paying homage to great art and of exploring cities and cultures of countries throughout the world.
I recommend you visit the gallery before 28th June to view these seldom seen paintings. The exhibition then moves to the Newcastle Regional Gallery and will be on display from 15 August – 26 Ocotber 2009.