Unlocking Margaret's House: Still Life Challenge No 4: Spaces Between

In our fourth challenge in the Margaret Olley Still Life series we look at the Margaret Olley (1923 – 2011) painting Evening still life with Turkish pot created in 1982 in oil paints on board (75cm x 120cm).1

Evening still life with Turkish pot by Margaret Olley (2)

The Turkish pot, with its elegant stature and fluid figurative lines, is key to the unified triangular composition of this work. The lyrical curves of the handle and spout draw our attention to the blue and white ceramic jug that first appeared in Olley’s work in the early 1960s and continued to appear in her work for decades to come.3

Like actors poised on stage, awaiting their queue, the spatial relationship between each object is vital to the whole. The handle of the blue and white jug connects with the short spout of another neighbouring coffee pot, uniting them on
the table top arena. 3

The fabric in the foreground of the composition is key to establishing depth
between the viewer and the still life arrangement.3

The spaces in between the objects, where they overlap, the turn of a handle, the angle of a spout, the fold in the fabric – these individual elements, that she shapes with evening light – are effortlessly perceived by Olley. Combined, the result is a fine example of the life-affirming paintings that make Olley Australia’s most celebrated painter of still life.3

And now enjoy the wonderful video produced by the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

If you are inspired to participate in the challenge please follow this link to the Activity Sheet.

If you enjoyed this post and missed the third challenge which was focused on wallpaper please click here.

1. Collection of Max and Nola Tegel. © Margaret Olley Art Trust
2. artnet.com
3. gallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au