Margaret Olley at Lismore Regional Art Gallery in 2006.
Margaret Olley at Lismore Regional Art Gallery in 2006.

Community reflects on cherished artist

LISMORE Regional Gallery has placed a Margaret Olley condolence book in its foyer for the community to reflect on her life and passing.

The Lismore-born arts legend passed away this week at age 88, triggering a wave of tributes from across the country.

Lismore Regional Gallery director Brett Adlington described Margaret Olley as one of Australia’s most recognised and well-loved artists.

“Margaret Olley was one of our most cherished artists, both within the region and across the nation. Her work touched many people for its honesty and optimistic view of life,” Mr Adlington said.

“We were fortunate that Margaret had a connection to Lismore and chose to visit and exhibit here on several occasions. We have two of her works in our permanent collection which is a real honour for the people of Lismore.”

Lismore City Council Mayor, Jenny Dowell, conveyed her great respect for Margaret Olley.

“I was very fortunate to meet with her on several occasions.  She was both hugely talented and very down-to-earth, such a wonderful combination of qualities.  Lismore is fortunate to be the birthplace of such a highly respected Australian,” Cr Dowell said.

Born on June 24, 1923, Margaret Olley was made a member of the Order of Australia for service ‘as an artist and to the promotion of art’. 

She was awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour in 2006, being made a Companion of the Order for service ‘as one of Australia's most distinguished artists, for support and philanthropy to the visual and performing arts, and for encouragement of young and emerging artists'.

A private funeral was held today in Sydney and a state memorial service is planned for late August to be held at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Ms Olley will be commemorated during a special condolence motion to be presented by the Mayor at the Lismore City Council Meeting on August 9.

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