Bacchanal Rosaleen Norton
Alexandre Rodrigues da Costa
2 min

Whispers and Moans In the Forest: The Erotic and Pagan Art Of Rosáleen Norton

2 min

Currently, Amazon Prime is showcasing a documentary titled "The Witch of Kings Cross." It revolves around the life and work of Rosaleen Norton, an Australian painter who stirred controversy in her country during the 1950s and 1960s. The artist gained notoriety for her pagan-themed paintings, displayed at the University of Melbourne Library in 1949 and later at the Apollyon and Kashmir coffee-shops in Sydney's Kings Cross, plunged her into legal controversy, and her 1952 publication of the book “The Art of Rosaleen Norton”, which was banned in Australia for containing, according to authorities, obscene material.

Rosaleen Norton Australian artist


rosaleen norton three witches


Rosaleen Norton


rosaleen norton witch


Sensationalist Media

Rosaleen Norton was repeatedly called to testify by the police and became a target of sensationalist media due to her involvement, along with her lover, the poet Gavin Greenless, in acts associated with witchcraft, contrary to the moral standards of the time in Australia. The maestro and musical composer Sir Eugene Goossens joined the couple due to his interest in paganism. However, upon returning from a trip to England, he was detained at the Australian customs for importing pornographic material. This event and the fact of participating in Rosaleen Norton 's magical clan ended the maestro's career.

rosaleen norton posing in her atelier


Rosaleen Norton occult painting


Rosaleen Norton Occult art


Rosaleen Norton pagan art


Pointed Ears

Born during a storm around 4:30 am in Dunedin, New Zealand, to English middle-class parents, Rosaleen Norton considered herself a witch based on biological characteristics such as pointed ears and blue marks on her left knee. Her family migrated to Sydney in 1925, settling in the affluent suburb of Wolseley Street, north of Lindfield. Alienated from her family, Norton lived in a tent in the garden for three years,