Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rosaleen Norton

An Australian occultist and witch, Rosaleen became well known for her demonic and sexual paintings and drawings that were often subjet to ridiculous censorship.

"In early August of 1951 the police raided an exhibition of her work and seized four of her pictures. She was taken to court with the Crown prosecution alleging that such works could 'deprave and corrupt the morals of those who saw them', and the police alleged that they were inspired by works of mediaeval demonology. The charges against her were dismissed and 4 pounds 4 shillings costs were awarded against the police department.

In 1952 a beautifully produced leather bound, limited edition book of her paintings with poems from her close friend and colleague, Gavin Greenlees, was published by Walter Glover. Walter was subsequently found guilty of publishing an obscene publication, certain pages had to be blacked out, and the book was made subject to a Customs ban. Newspapers trumpeted that it was the "most blatant example of obscenity yet published in Australia." Copies of the book sent to New York were confiscated and burnt by the U.S. Customs Department." - quote source.

Read more about the artist here.
There is a small selection of drawings by Norton on this page, a few of the links are broken however.
A picture of the artist along with an article about her can be seen here.

There doesn't seem to be a solid gallery online displaying Rosaleen Norton's art, if anyone finds a better selection of her work online be sure to post a link in the comments, thanks!

1 comment:

Leo Plaw said...

Yes it would be wonderful to see a decent online gallery of her works. Being an avid fan, I have of course searched the internet thoroughly, and most of them are of very poor quality and don't do Rosaleen any justice.

I can also say I had the good fortune back in 2001 to see a very rare exhibition of her artworks.