28 April 2023

'It was time for a reset': After a much needed time-out, Maggie's Little Yellow House is back

| Chris Roe
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woman with her art in a gallery

Maggie Deall is doing a bit of a reboot on her Little Yellow House Gallery. Photo: Supplied.

Artist Maggie Deall has temporarily closed the door on her Little Yellow House while the Thomson Street Gallery and Studio undergoes a revamp.

“It’ll be two years on the 27th of May that we’ve been open so we decided that we needed a big freshen-up and a repaint,” she said during a brief break from redecorating.

“When I moved in, we had just under five weeks from finding out that we had the space to open, so I didn’t really have time to plan out how it would all function.

“Back then, I had three artists. We’ve now got almost 30 that I represent, so it was time to step back and take a breath.”

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Since opening in 2021, Maggie has transformed the once-vacant shop into a haven for local artists who make themselves at home in her studio and exhibit a beautiful array of paintings and ceramics in her shop window and in the gallery.

closed sign next to gallery logo

Maggie closed the doors to revamp her popular gallery. Photo: Chris Roe

Maggie’s creative journey has been one of healing after a career in NSW Police left its scars.

Returning to painting and establishing the Little Yellow House were important steps on the road to recovery from PTSD, but she explained that running a growing business also brought stress, and it was time for a break and a reset.

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“It was actually my shrink’s idea. I just got really overwhelmed, and I think it happens for a lot of small business people, that they hit points where they’re just going, ‘this is a lot for one person to do by themselves!'” Maggie said.

“I probably wasn’t falling as far behind as I thought I was, but I felt like it was just constant so we decided to shut for a week and then reset, repaint and put in proper gallery rails and just get all our processes right.”

Refreshed and reinvigorated, Maggie reopens on Monday and is looking forward to the next chapter of the Little Yellow House.

Little Yellow House

Maggie’s window is always alight with colour. Photo: Supplied.

As well as selling art, Maggie is working on a mural project in the CBD and continues to run regular workshops and their increasingly popular kids’ parties.

“I love doing the parties, they’re so much fun and it’s easy for the parents because they can just bring their own cake and anything else they want to bring and we do the art side and we put up decorations,” she said.

“Every one we’ve done, the kids have had a really good time.”

Maggie has had a steady stream of helpers over the last week, including artists Debbie Woods and Lindy Farley, whose work features regularly in the window.

The pair has been busily helping brighten the space and hanging art from the new rails as well as preparing a ‘secret’ project for next month.

“We’ll re-launch on Monday (1 May) and then our next big event will be the ‘Moving Forward’ exhibition on the 26th of May,” said Maggie, dropping a few hints.

“It’s a collaboration between Linda Farley and Debbie Wood and it’s 2D/3D art in that there’s a painting component and there’s a weaving component so it’s an amalgamation of the best of both their work.”

The exhibition will launch on the Friday night before Reconciliation Week begins and Maggie said it’s a beautiful example of overcoming difference.

“It’s something that we’ve focused on here, which is connection across whatever barriers might exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, people with disabilities and NDIS clients,” she said.

“Everyone is welcome and can connect here.”

The Little Yellow House is located at 41 Tompson Street, Wagga Wagga.

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