Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.
— Biography of Norma Redpath
Norma Redpath was born in Melbourne in 1928 and studied art at Swinburne University and sculpture at RMIT. Her early works were carved timber – abstract in form, showing influences from Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. The work was very well received in the early 1950s and she won numerous commissions to produce public sculpture, including the mural for the University of Melbourne’s new Baillieu Library in 1959.
In search of traditional casting skills then unavailable in Australia, in 1956 Redpath made her first trip to Italy – the first of many. She studied at the prestigious Brera Academy in Milan and cast her first works in bronze in Rome.
In the early 1960s she formed part of Centre Five group who championed modernist sculpture in Australia and included Inge King, Clifford Last, Julius Kane, Vincas Jomantas, Teisutis Zikaras and Lenton Parr.
Redpath held her first solo exhibition at Gallery A in Melbourne in 1963 to great acclaim, with works winning the Mildura Prize and the first Transfield Prize for Sculpture in 1966, and which were later exhibited at the Australian Pavilion at the 1967 World Expo in Montreal. This was followed by the completion of her major work Treasury Fountain in Canberra, which lead to her being awarded an OBE in 1970. Her final commission, ‘Paessagio Cariatide’, was completed in 1980 for the State Bank Centre in Melbourne.
Redpath grew reticent in later life which contributed to her falling somewhat from view, however the many maquettes in bronze, plaster, wax and timber she continued to produce up until her death in 2013 represent her unwavering vision for monumental sculpture.
Bernard Smith, 1963: [Redpath is] “one of the most impressive Australian sculptors at work today” [her work having] “a monumental sculptural presence of a kind rarely seen here.”
Jane Eckett, 2013: “Norma Redpath’s achievements mark her as one of the outstanding Australian sculptors of her generation. Her carved works of the 1950s, the exquisite bronzetti of the 1960s, and her monumental public works each speak of an engagement with international sculpture.”