Saturday, July 30, 2011

Margaret Olley -The Loss of a National Treasure!

Portrait of Olley by Ben Quilty Winner of the 2010 Archibald Prize

Saddened this week by the passing of the wonderful Margaret Olley!

In the studio

Olley who was preparing for her latest exhibition at the age of 88, will be remembered for her rich celebration of still life and interiors, within a hugely prolific body of work, together with her undying philanthropic generosity and support of the Australian art world.

Red Hibiscus

Still Life with Mandarins

Her work which centred upon the passionate love of beauty and capturing the objects in her treasured world, was indeed her life and homage to the likes of Cezanne and Morandi.

Tang Horse 1975

Olley with Barry Humphries in front of the celebrated William Dobell Archibald Prize winning portait of 1948 (Picture:  Brianne Makin)

Poppies and Yellow Jug 2004

Lemons 2002

Flannel and Wild Flowers in a White Vase 1973

Always hoping to create what she called the 'perfect' picture, this desire continued to drive Olley to the next painting and then the next, perhaps always doubting the true resolution of the one which came before.

 The ongoing search for perfection in her work was the driving force and life blood of this larger than life character.

Still Life with Apples

Tuscany Rug with Native Flowers 1995

Ranunculus and Watermelon 1978

She once said
 "A work of art is never finished, it is merely abandoned!"

I am sure her spirit will live on amongst the ramshackle rooms and objects of her beloved Paddington terrace and studio.  As her close friend and dealer Philip Bacon who worked with her right to the end touchingly commented.....
   'She is probably propped up on her stool, cigarette in hand debating now whether the Sydney ferry should have been left in that harbour scape painting for the final show, or not!!'


Images & Story via:

  Conversation with Philip Bacon & Eleanor Hall on The World Today ABC Radio National;
 AGNSW; Philip Bacon Galleries; McCullochs's Encyclopedia of Australian Art;
Deutscher-Menzies various catalogues; The Melbourne Age:  Photo by Steven Siewert; Australian Studio Book  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Millar Residence

Recently my family and I had the pleasure of having lunch with our close friends the Millars at their charming home in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Timothy Millar of Gilston 4 fame and his stunning wife Charmaine hosted and created a wonderful gourmet experience which included ricotta fritters and a flavourful multi-mushroom risotto!

Their home, which I am sorry to say they have just sold and moved from,
 was one of my favourite places.

An original 1950's beach cottage, was transformed by the Millars into a lovely family home including a private lillipilli lined courtyard with enormous potted bougainvillea.

Scape chairs by Grant Featherston looking out to the private courtyard beyond

Tim's specialty Ricotta Fritters served with tomato and basil salad!

Plethora of mushrooms for the risotto

 Will Studd 'Ice Cream' Cheese served with Champagne
 Comte Audoin De Dampierre 

Protea & Gladioli with Catherine Martin's 'Millennium Falcon' in the background

The original garage was converted into the master bedroom and the bathroom
 with its 'Black Japan' timber clad tub into Japanese bathhouse aesthetic!

The Millars with their young children Gene and Charlotte have sadly outgrown this home which although small in space, is big on style!

Thank you for the great times!

Images:   The Decorator
J Watson-Evans

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yellow Makes Me So Happy!

Pierre Guariche

Wonderful 1950's armchairs upholstered in new fabric, and Tripod lamp/table
 by French designer Pierre Guariche (1926-1995).

Chairs available now through 1st Dibs.

Tripod Lamp via Galerie Sommerlath

Images via

 1st Dibs; Galerie Sommerlath;

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ettore Sottsass Last Stand

I remember being very excited about the colour and eccentric kitschy aesthetic of Memphis design
 in the early to mid 1980's!
While I was learning about the restrained functionality of the early 20th Century design classics of say
 Le Corbusier and Rennie Mackintosh, the work of
Memphis came and smacked me in the eye!

It was the '80's, it was the Gold Coast, and I was in my early twenties.
The influence of Memphis led by one of its founders the late
Ettore Sostass, was far reaching.

I remember swanning around in my Katie Pye's
and watching Miami Vice....I think you get the picture!

Remember this.....

Ettore Sottsass Memphis Design crazy 'Carlton Bookcase' 1981

Ettore Sottsass last collection:
 Un picolo omaggio a Mondrian designed by the late Sottsass before he died in 2007.

 Ettore Sottsass Un piccolo omaggio a Mondrian currently on show at Friedman Benda NYC

Images via; Wallpaper & Friedman Benda NYC

Thursday, July 7, 2011


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