King of Wands – Margaret Olley

Where the Knight of Wands showed us untamed dynamism, the King is the real deal. This is someone who gets things done. Fuelled by inspiration, they have the wisdom and experience to actually bring ideas into the real world. They see things through, and this is a card for completion and achievement.
Little Red Tarot

When we think of a person who reflects the energy of the King of Wands we may think of someone who has the energy, experience and enthusiasm to accomplish what they set out to achieve. This King has the capacity, not only to take control of their life, but to motivate others, lead the way forward and set a good example for those who look up to them. This King uses self-expression to get what they desire.

Margaret Olley is one of Australia’s most significant still-life and interior painters. She drew inspiration from her home and studio and the beauty of the everyday objects she gathered around her. Many of her paintings feature arrangements of fruits and flowers, set amid the pottery, art and exotica of her travels.

Margaret Hannah Olley was born on 24 June 1923 in Lismore, New South Wales. She was the eldest of three children of Joseph Olley and Grace (nee Temperley). At the time of her birth they were living on a property of selected land at Horseshoe Creek, near Kyogle. The Olley family were pioneers in the Lismore district, and the Temperley family had lived for a time in Ballina, where they owned the local newspaper The Richmond River Times during the 1880s

Margaret commenced classes at Brisbane Central Technical College. In 1943 Olley moved to Sydney and enrolled in an art Diploma course at East Sydney Technical College, graduating with first-class honours in 1945. After graduating, Olley quickly became involved in the post-war Sydney art scene, which included artists such as Jean Bellette, William Dobell, Russell Drysdale, Donald Friend, Sidney Nolan, Justin O’Brien and David Strachan.

Margaret died in Sydney on July 26, 2011. Her famous Duxford Street home studio featured a beautiful garden which reflected her love of flowers and plants as subject matter for her painting. This inspired the development of the Margaret Olley Memorial Garden at the Gallery.