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Olley’s Newcastle home goes up for auction

WHILE the Tweed River Art gallery gears up for the Margaret Olley Centre that captures a glimpse of the artist's life, Ms Olley's former Newcastle base has been listed for sale as her estate is sold off.

The five-bedroom terrace in Church Street was one of eight properties she is said to have bought in The Hill area in the 1960s, and the only one she retained until she died, aged 88, in July 2011.

Selling agent and friend Sonia Walkom said Ms Olley had sold her seven other properties after the banks raised interest rates in the 1970s, but she kept this one for sentimental reasons as she had once used the basement as her Newcastle base and studio.

"She used to sit up at The Obelisk waterfront reserve and paint and she would come back here to her little studio," Ms Walkom said.

"It was so full of charm, with all the old fireplaces and even an old well, but a lot of that was lost when the house was modernised about 10 years ago."

The three-storey terrace on 120 square metres is now divided into two self-contained apartments, and still boasts the north-facing courtyard and a view of the harbour.

"It needs a fair bit of work now it's not a glamorous place like her Sydney one," Ms Walkom said.

Ms Walkom holds hopes of $600,000 when the terrace goes to auction on May 25.



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