Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Rehabilitation of Rosaleen

Back in the 1950s, the artist and occultist Rosaleen Norton was the witchcraft scene in Australia, at least according to some of the older books I have read. Her relationship with Sir Eugene Goosens, conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, was a scandal, as were her paintings, some of which were confiscated as indecent.

Now that scandal has achieved folkloric status, and Norton's memory is a local tourist attraction, as you may read here (scroll to the bottom).

Things have changed a little.

Goosens, incidentally, worked hard for a new classical-music venue in Sydney; now the Sydney Opera House with its white "sails" is the tourism-poster icon of Australia. I think that it will be a while before there is a Rosaleen Norton retrospective exhibit in the lobby, but think of the connection.


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