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Margaret Olley Art Centre

Home > Gold Coast > Art | Cafes | Free | Galleries
by Jenny Esots (subscribe)
A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published July 14th 2014
A life immersed in art
The opportunity to visit one of the country's best regional galleries was a highlight of my recent travels.

The Margaret Olley Art Centre
The Margaret Olley Art Centre


Not only because of the standard of the gallery exhibitions, facilities, a splendid café and surrounding countryside, but chiefly because of the newly opened Margaret Olley Art Centre.

Art Gallery Cafe
Art Gallery Cafe


Margaret Olley was able to gift her entire estate, lock, stock and barrel to The Tweed Regional Gallery. This was the area she grew up in.

Unlike many artist studios that are open to the public where the viewer can feel like an intruder. The Margaret Olley Art Centre has been transported as an installation to a new modern, purpose built facility.

The Margaret Olley Art Centre
The Margaret Olley Art Centre


The visitor is free to wander the corridors of the rooms. To peek into the lounge/studio, the rundown kitchen and see the smoky old rugs and ashtrays. It is like a moment captured in time. A life preserved.

Margaret Olley lived her life in a blaze of art, which is the only occupation she ever wanted.

The viewer is led through this art 'installation' which does have a voyeuristic feel about it. The experience of seeing intimate details, and absorbing the crazy arrangements of objects.

The Margaret Olley Art Centre
The Margaret Olley Art Centre


Flowers, sculptures, ornaments, stacks of books and magazines and other assorted arrangements cram the spaces.

This flamboyant clutter in other hands may have drifted into squalor, but Margaret Olley has an eye for the visually lush interior. An artist who kept searching for the right light and composition.

Surrounding country of the Margaret Olley Art Centre
Surrounding country of the Margaret Olley Art Centre


The gallery has posted signs at the entrance stating NO Photography.

However on enquiring I was informed that photographing art works was NOT permitted, but was allowed in the Margret Olley installation of rooms. Not including her original art work.

The viewer to these rooms is left in the world of imagination of a born artist who immersed herself in her art.

Flowers, sculptures, ornaments, stacks of books and magazines and other assorted arrangements cram the spaces.
Flowers, sculptures, ornaments, stacks of books and magazines and other assorted arrangements cram the spaces.


The viewer is left to drink in the elements and chaotic design.

The installation also includes an audio-visual presentation on the artists life.

Plus interactive iPads to gain background information.

A selection of Margaret's still life artworks throughout her career are on show here.

There is a glorious photo of the artist that lights up this gallery installation.

Margaret Olley
Margaret Olley


Those impish sparkling eyes that seem to beguile the visitor and get them wondering about the spirit of her life, displayed here.

Her spirit does indeed live on.

The Margaret Olley Art Centre
The Margaret Olley Art Centre

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Why? An artists life on show
When: Ongoing Exhibition
Where: 2 Mistral Road (Cnr Tweed Valley Way) Murwillumbah South NSW 2484
Cost: Free
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