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2020 Archibald Prize Regional Tour
Friday 22 January 2021 to Sunday 7 March 2021
Withey Gallery

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Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre is the first stop on the 2020 Archibald Prize Regional Tour.

Awarded to the best painting of a notable Australian, the Archibald Prize is a who's who of Australian culture, from politicians to celebrities and from sporting heroes to artists. Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is Australia's foremost portraiture prize. Now in its 99th year, the Archibald Prize has been held annually since 1921. An open competition, the Archibald Prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW. Entries to the Archibald Prize must be painted in the past year from at least one live sitting. Finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on a year-long regional tour.

Visit the exhibition to vote for your favourite portrait in the ANZ People’s Choice award before voting closes on 21 February and see the work of budding artists aged 5–18 in the Young Archies on display in the Gallery Foyer.

For families, there are also children’s labels, a children’s trail and an activity sheet with ideas for creating your own portraits at home.

This is a ticketed exhibition. Due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions, you need to specify a date when booking. Capacity limits will apply in this exhibition space. Short wait times to enter the exhibition may be experienced during busy periods. Tickets can be used once.

This is a ticketed exhibition. Tickets are now available for purchase:

Adult: $12
Gallery Friend/Foundation member: $7
Concession or child 5–7 years: $8
Family (2 adults + up to 3 children): $30
Children under 5 years Free
Bus group booking: $8 per person
School/education group booking: $6 per person

For Bus Group Visits
A booking agreement is essential for all groups over 10 people wishing to visit the Gallery. Bus groups arriving without a booking may not be able to enter the building under our COVID-Safe plan. All bookings must be finalised with at least 2 weeks' notice with the Gallery's Education & Audience Development Officer: 02 6670 2712 /

Abdul Abdullah
Archibald Prize 2020 finalist
Untitled self-portrait
oil and aerosol on linen, 183 x 163 cm
© the artist
Photo: AGNSW, Jenni Carter
Sitter: Abdul Abdullah – artist


Earth ‘n’ Fire
Fifty Years of Murwillumbah Potters
Friday 5 March 2021 to Sunday 2 May 2021
Boyd Gallery

2021 will mark the fifty year anniversary of the Murwillumbah Potters Inc., located at the old Fernvale School on Fernvale Road, just outside of Murwillumbah. The Murwillumbah Potters were formed in 1971 to encourage and provide a space for beginners and experienced potters and creators to share skills and support each other.

Earth ‘n’ Fire will celebrate the history and strong continuity of the club showcasing the pottery of the club’s tutors – both past and present – and a selection of creations fired in traditional wood, gas and raku kilns. The exhibition will demonstrate the diversity of styles and skills of members, with a diverse selection of functional, decorative, sculptural and unique ceramics.

Fernvale School, home of the Murwillumbah Potters
Photo: Vic Basten


Tension(s) 2020
Tamworth Textile Triennial
Friday 5 March 2021 to Sunday 2 May 2021
Temporary Exhibitions Gallery

The Tamworth Textile Triennial showcases the best of textile art from across the country, attracting artist participation from all states in Australia. Tension(s) 2020: Tamworth Textile Triennial has been curated by Vic McEwan, creating an important record of the changing nature and progress of textile practice from a national perspective.

Tension(s) 2020: Tamworth Textile Triennial acknowledges that the world has long been a place under various tension(s), both harmonious and dissonant. In order to bear witness to, contribute to and respond to these tensions, the triennial will focus on the future of people and place through textile as a material and human experience as materiality.

Kelly Leonard and Julie Briggs
Curation of Shadows (process), 2020
Photo: Vic McEwan

After Blue Jean Sisters
Belinda Smith
Friday 5 March 2021 to Sunday 2 May 2021
Macnaughton Focus Gallery and Kelly Wall

Blue Jean Sisters is a craftivism project by artist Belinda Smith, which shines a light on the exploitation of human labour and environmentally destructive practices of today’s fast fashion industry. This community participation project invited participants to make a doll from upcycled jeans and consider the effort that goes into the clothes that they wear. 1650 dolls were made over a year (September 2018 – September 2019) through workshops and home-based making.

The bi-product of making hundreds of dolls from secondhand jeans is that there are many off-cuts and unusable parts such as waistbands and seams, and reusing these became a preoccupation for the artist throughout the project. Blue Jean Sisters will be installed along with Smith’s exploration and re-use of macro and micro denim and textile waste that range from a large-scale twined installation to intimate embroideries using denim weft threads and amber topstitch cotton.

Blue Jean Sisters was commissioned and exhibited at Adderton: house & heart of mercy for A Fierce Hope.

Photo: Nat McComas


Still life
Jaqueline Hennessy
Friday 19 March 2021 to Sunday 25 July 2021
The Friends Gallery

In 2020, Sydney-based artist Jacqueline Hennessy spent time in the Gallery’s Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence Studio to develop new work for her solo exhibition Still life. Hennessy completed a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) at the National Art School in 2019 and is the inaugural recipient of the Tweed Regional Gallery – National Art School MFA Residency Award.

Referencing images of her own body, Hennessy’s paintings seek to give visual form to the experience of self in a world led by the gaze. Her ghostly female figures seemingly emerge as they dissolve into the linen support, signifying the paradox of being both the invisible subject evading the gaze and the visible body object captured by it.

Visiting the Gallery for the first time in August 2020, Hennessy connected with the re-creation of Olley’s home studio as a gloriously rich self-portrait.

“I was struck by how strongly Margaret’s sense of self, or my perception of it, permeated the collection of objects in her re-created home studio. The spectre of Margaret is palpable, being conjured by or infused in the objects that she left behind. This play between the invisible and visible in creating a sense of some part of Margaret’s unique essence, resonates strongly with my work and conceptual concerns. I knew immediately that I wanted to create a series of figurative works referencing images of both my body and Margaret’s personal objects.”

Jacqueline Hennessy

Jaqueline Hennessy is represented by Jan Murphy Gallery Brisbane.

This exhibition is an outcome of Tweed Regional Gallery – National Art School (NAS) MFA Residency Award. The collaboration aims to showcase emerging artists in recognition of Margaret Olley, a NAS alumnus.



Ned Kelly series
Sidney Nolan
Friday 19 March 2021 to Sunday 22 August 2021
Withey Gallery

Sidney Nolan’s 1946–47 paintings on the theme of the bushranger Ned Kelly are one of the greatest series of Australian paintings of the 20th century. Nolan’s Ned Kelly series is a distillation of a complex, layered story set in the Victorian landscape and centred around a 19th century bushranger and his gang who were on the run from the police.

Landscape is a key element in the paintings—as Nolan said, “it began in the landscape and ended in the landscape”. The series also depends upon a loosely-threaded but vital, dramatic human narrative that has its catalyst with Constable Fitzpatrick and Kate Kelly 1946 in the domestic arena of the Kelly family home where a fracas occurs, and ends with The trial 1947, in a Melbourne courtroom where Ned Kelly is sentenced to death.

This is a ticketed exhibition:
Adult: $12
Gallery Friend/Foundation member: $7
Concession or child 5–7 years: $8
Family (2 adults + up to 3 children): $30
Children under 5 years Free
Bus group booking: $8 per person
School/education group booking: $6 per person

A National Gallery of Australia exhibition.

Sidney Nolan
The defence of Aaron Sherritt (detail) 1946
from the Ned Kelly series 1946–1947
enamel paint on composition board, 121.20 × 90.70cm
Gift of Sunday Reed 1977. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
© National Gallery of Australia


Figura subcinctus
Michelle Dawson
Friday 7 May 2021 to Sunday 11 July 2021
Boyd Gallery

“ Now I am ready to tell how bodies are changed Into different bodies”
Ted Hughes – Tales from Ovid, 1997

Figura Subcinctus is a continuation of Michelle’s fascination with the juncture where our civilised selves meet with our untamed, instinctual natures.

Our religions, art, myths, fairytales and fiction abound with chimaeric creatures, the likes of angels, werewolves, dryads and bunyips. Strange bird men decorate the walls of Sulawesi caves dating back 44,000 years.

Joseph Campbell suggests that these composite beings are our means of navigating our innate love-hate relationship with our animal selves from which we have evolved. Pliny speaks of the halfe wild and Ovid’s Metamorphoses presents a string of fluid interchanges between gods, humans, animals and flora. And modern medicine and science, merging human, animal and machine, puts us squarely in Mary Shelley territory.

Figura Subcinctus proffers specific hybrids, playful and tangible, as well as pieces that explore this dichotomy’s sense of mystery, collision, meeting and opposition less overtly. It contains artworks that are themselves hybrid in nature, using a range of materials and employing Michelle’s predilections for myth, fairytale, history, natural science, costumery and a pinch of kitsch to ferment a shape-shifting body of work.

Michelle Dawson
The Blooming Victorians 2020
graphite and watercolour on paper, 150 × 100cm
Courtesy the artist


Friday 7 May 2021 to Sunday 4 July 2021
Temporary Exhibitions Gallery

The void is a multifaceted concept, not simply of presence and absence, but a place that exists between distinct worldviews, is occupied by meaning and is imbued with personal, historical and ancestral significance. The artists presented in this exhibition do not simply define the void as denoting a lack, but rather they utilise form to represent the formless.

Void brings together contemporary Aboriginal artistic practice from across the country. Curated by Emily McDaniel, the exhibition features existing works across the mediums of drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, video and photography by artists including Pepai Jangala Carroll, Jonathan Jones, Mabel Juli, John Mawurndjul AM, Hayley Millar-Baker, Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, Rusty Peters, Doreen Reid Nakamarra, Andy Snelgar, Dr. Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher AO, Freddie Timms, James Tylor, Jennifer Wurrkidj and Josephine Wurrkidj.

An exhibition curated by Emily McDaniel, in conjunction with UTS Gallery and Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, presented nationally by Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program

Void, curated by Emily McDaniel, (installation view) UTS Gallery,25 September – 16 November 2018
Pictured: James Tylor, (Deleted Scenes) From an Untouched Landscape #7 Knocklofty Reserve, West Hobart, Palawa Land, 2013
Photo: Campbell Henderson

In Quiet
Amelia Reid
Friday 7 May 2021 to Sunday 11 July 2021
Macnaughton Focus Gallery and Kelly Wall

In lockdown the experience of home was concentrated; we were bound to it. The functions of home clarified and expanded – a sanctuary, a site of performed domesticities, a liminal space transitioning into a changed way of being in the world together.

Over weeks of consistent stillness, a perception of place deepened. A quiet that implied almost monastic contemplation and retreat, simultaneous to existential stresses – the physical reality of the virus, economic impacts, and the unknown end date for social distancing.

Busy ant lives stalled, the here and now became a pocket of time with full allowance for silence and slowness, observance and absorption. A version of life with less interaction with the external world, its structures and multi-locatedness.

The paintings created during lockdown and the open-ended phase of unknowns that follow are a documentation of time passing, within a seeming suspension. They record an internal process of external change and form the basis of a body of work exploring light and shadow, interiority and architectures.

Amelia Reid is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Murwillumbah.

Amelia Reid
March (Books, Love, Pandemonium) 2020
acrylic on canvas
Courtesy the artist


Treasure Island
Darren Sylvester
Friday 14 May 2021 to Sunday 31 October 2021
Anthony Gallery

Darren Sylvester’s multi-disciplinary practice involves photography, sculpture, video and pop music.

Each work is the result of a long, detailed process of research and planning, often involving a wide range of pop culture moments and artefacts, designed to investigate the language between perceived high and low culture, the nature of authenticity, desirability and mortality.

Each photograph is the result of detailed research and planning to then become a hand-built set of props in studio that are then photographed with large-format film, creating a hyper-real saturated effect that is direct and to the point, however with inherent levels of great detail and complexity.

For example, the work Stacey re-imagines a character from an unknown American science-fiction film, with the suit purchased by Sylvester at a Hollywood auction house. The only clue to the character was the name ‘Stacey’ inscribed inside, here the character and location is re-imagined and Stacey is brought back to life.

Treasure Island alludes to the Disney-fied trope of fortunes and mysteries in undiscovered spaces, a theme not dissimilar to the worlds created within Sylvester's exciting images.

Darren Sylvester
Stacey 2018
240 × 320cm, lightjet print
Courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney and Neon Parc, Melbourne


A life in art - Margaret Olley
Friday 14 May 2021 to Sunday 31 October 2021
Margaret Olley Art Centre

Drawn entirely from the Tweed Regional Gallery collection, this exhibition brings together artwork from each decade of Margaret Olley’s extraordinary career.

On display in the Margaret Olley Art Centre for the first time, A life in art will include a series of monotypes Olley made in Europe during her first overseas trip in the early 1950s. They showcase her keen eye for detailed observation and her strong foundation in drawing.

From her early, lesser-known landscapes to her later, much-celebrated still lifes, this exhibition reveals the journey of her enduring career and dedication to a life in art.

Margaret Olley Art Centre flower sponsor
Flowerista, 0487 297 857
M | Arts Precinct, Murwillumbah
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