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The Art of Rosaleen Norton: With Poems by Gavin Greenlees
The Art of Rosaleen Norton: With Poems by Gavin Greenlees
The Art of Rosaleen Norton: With Poems by Gavin Greenlees

    The Art of Rosaleen Norton: With Poems by Gavin Greenlees

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    From the personal collection of Michael W. Ford, Excellent Condition, 1982 edition.

    Hardcover, Quarto 80pp. Color and black and white illustrations. Limited to 1000 copies. A book of occult-inspired artist Rosaleen Norton's drawings, with poems by Norton and her lover Gavin Greenlees. The original 1952 edition was banned in the USA on the grounds of obscenity, and had a restricted circulation in Australia, with a court ruling that some of the plates had to be 'blacked out' before copies could legally be sold. This edition reproduces all the material in the original, along with new introductions and additional colour plates.

    About Rosaleen Norton:

    Rosaleen Miriam Norton, who used the name of Thorn, was a New Zealand-born Australian artist and occultist, in the latter capacity adhering to a form of pantheistic / Neopagan Witchcraft largely devoted to the mythological Greek god Pan. She lived much of her later life in the bohemian area of Kings Cross, Sydney, leading her to be termed the "Witch of Kings Cross" in some of the tabloids, and from where she led her own coven of Witches.

    Her paintings, which have been compared to those of British occult artist Austin Osman Spare, often depicted images of supernatural entities such as pagan gods and demons, sometimes involved in sexual acts. These caused particular controversy in Australia during the 1940s and '50s, when the country "was both socially and politically conservative" with Christianity as the dominant faith and at a time when the government "promoted a harsh stance on censorship." For this reason the authorities dealt with her work harshly, with the police removing some of her work from exhibitions, confiscating books that contained her images, and attempting to prosecute her for public obscenity on a number of occasions.

    According to her later biographer, Nevill Drury, "Norton's esoteric beliefs, cosmology and visionary art are all closely intertwined – and reflect her unique approach to the magical universe." She was inspired by "the 'night' side of magic", emphasizing darkness and studying the Qliphoth, alongside forms of sex magic which she had learned from the writings of English occultist Aleister Crowley.

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