Preliminary Idea for Dawn Sentinel

Norma Redpath

Preliminary Idea for Dawn Sentinel by Norma Redpath


Norma Redpath
Preliminary Idea for Dawn Sentinel
bronze edition 4/9
25 x 8.5 x 6 cm

signed base: NR 4/9

stamp: Meridian Melbourne Circe Perdue, posthumous cast

The full-scale version of Dawn Sentinel (208 x 72.8 x 44.4 cm) won first prize at the Mildura Prize for Sculpture, 1964, and is in the National Gallery of Victoria's permanent collection (Felton Bequest 1964).

Copyright the Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Charles Nodrum Gallery.

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Norma Redpath, Charles Nodrum Gallery, 4 - 27 July, 2013, cat .no. 4

The Object Divine, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, 1 Nov - 13 Dec 2014


Smith, Bernard, Norma Redpath, The Age, 15 Oct 1963

Studying the Sentinel, The Age, 15 Oct 1963, illus, p.5

Van Hattanm, Ernst, Sculpture Mildura, Mildura Arts Centre, 18 April - 16 May 1964, illus. p. 45

Missingham, Hal, Mildura Prize for Sculpture, Art and Australia, vol. 2, no. 2, August 1964, p. 132

Thomson, Gordon, Recent Australian Sculpture Exhibition, Conference of Directors of State Galleries and the Commonwealth Advisory Board, Melbourne, 1964, illus. p 24

Thomson, Gordon, Norma Redpath, Australian Journal of Architecture and Arts, vol. 12, no. 4, April 1964, p 39, illlus, p, 40

Hoff, U & Plant, M., National Gallery of Victoria: Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Melbourne, 1968, p. 200, illus. p.200

Patrick McCaughey, Australian Abstract Art, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1969, p. 25, b&w illustration p. 16

Noel Hutchison, 'Australian Sculpture in the 1960s', Other Voices, vol. 1, no. 3, October to December 1970, pp. 14-15

Gordon Thomson, An overall study of the work of Norma Redpath and in particular the years 1960 to 1970, Sydney: Rudy Komon Gallery, 1970, b&w illustration p. 18

Graeme Sturgeon, The Development of Australian Sculpture, 1788-1975, London: Thames and Hudson, 1978, pp. 159-60, 173, 238, b&w illustration p. 158

Ken Scarlett,Australian Sculptors, West Melbourne: Thomas Nelson, 1980, b&w illustration p. 541

Gary Catalano, The Years of Hope: Australian Art and Criticism 1959-1968, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1981, pp. 110, 114, 117, 119-20, b&w illustration p. 116

Graeme Sturgeon,Sculpture: 19th and 20th century Australian, European and American Sculpture, Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 1982, pp. 28-29, b&w illustration p. 28

Maudie Palmer and Margaret Plant, Centre Five at Heide Park and Art Gallery, exh. cat., Bulleen, Vic.: Heide Park and Art Gallery, 27 October - 9 December 1984, p. 25, b&w illustration p. 26

Margaret Engelman, Inge King AM D.Litt. (hon. causa) and Norma Redpath OBE: professional sculptors, multidimensional women, Clayton, Vic.: Monash University, Women's Studies Department, Master of Arts in Women's Studies thesis, 1992, p. 55, b&w illustration between pp. 52 and 53

Sandra Kirby, 'Norma Redpath', in Joan Kerr (ed.) Heritage: The National Women's Art Book; 500 Works by 500 Australian Women Artists from Colonial Times to 1955, Roseville East, NSW: Craftsman House, 1995, p. 434

Jennifer Phipps, I Had a Dream: Australian Art of the 1960s, Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 1997, p. 44, and colour illustration p. 44

Anne Sanders,The Mildura Sculpture Triennials 1961-1978: an interpretative history, Canberra: Australian National University, College of Arts and Social Sciences, PhD thesis, 2009, pp. 73-4, b&w illustration p. 76

Further Information

“It is a tall column deftly placed with a subtle movement of planes surmounted by a strong hod-like shape thrust up like a half-open hand. The front of the column (it has a front) comes to a sharp prow. The main forms are geometric but their articulation is organic representing well that “fusion of geometric and organic principles” to which Herbert Read refers.

The surface textures are opulent and varied showing the deep circular recesses with rough dark interiors and highly polished planes. Many of the areas are of sufficient interest to make quote a series of abstract impressionist paintings.”

Thomson, G., 1970, p.23

Norma Redpath’s talent as a sculptor was recognised early, being invited to join the Victorian Sculptors’ Society whilst still a student at RMIT, a group she regularly exhibited with and served on the council, including as vice-president. She found a lack of sculptural tradition lacking in Australia and focussed on creating her own sculptural language, looking at organic shapes and breaking these down into their base elements before reforming into her own vision. Travels in Europe and studies in Italy in particular, married her efforts with the influences of tradition and links between sculpture and architecture. Her early work was in wood and displayed her originality and sense of form and balance. In 1958 she was awarded the commission for the Baillieu Library and in 1961 awarded the Mildura Prize for sculpture as well as the Italian Government Travelling Scholarship. Studies in Milan at the Academia di Belle Arti di Brera, exposed her to bronze casting and the long tradition of bronze foundries. Redpath was drawn to the expressive possibilities of bronze and a rush of ideas flowed leading to her acclaimed exhibition at Gallery A, Melbourne in 1963. Many works were smaller scale bronzetti, but rather than studies for larger works these were important works, fully considered and resolved, created in their own right. As a result, as Thompson describes, the sculptures hold the power and presence of great sculptures, only reduced; the works “bursting with a power quite disproportionate to their size.” The success of the exhibition led to a great number of significant commissions including the Treasury Fountain, Canberra; bronze reliefs for BP Australia and the coat of arms adorning the National Gallery of Victoria, among others.

Redpath’s work shows a concern for dynamic form, with a rhythm and balance between mass and void and a play of light and dark within the shape itself but also in the bronze patina.

Redpath was awarded an OBE in 1970 and her work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia; National Gallery of Victoria; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Reserve Bank of Australia; Melbourne University as well as corporate and private collections.

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