Bruce Norton - Sculptor

Sculptures in timbers and bronze

The Budgeon's display case in the Richmond Library foyer

415 Church Street, Richmond (Melbourne)

12 March to 17 June 2017

Review by Carmel O'Connor

The Artist: Bruce Norton kindly allows us to get to know him through his “Sculpture Notes” which he has provided as part of the informative documentation required to use the Budgeins Display Case situated in the premise of the Richmond Library. The Budgeins Case is strictly for CAS member’s exhibitions with an educational component. Bruce shows his skill through the mediums of Wood and Bronze in this exhibition.

Defiance, 22 x 16 x 16 cm, by Bruce Norton

The Sculptures: Six sculptures in all; three in bronze and three in a variety of timbers.

The three bronze statuettes in this exhibition are reminiscent of the Ancient Greek figurines. Defiance, Defeat and Death are the titles given to these emotionally charged characters with a reference to Rodin in the Artist’s Statement.

Bruce, motivated in his mid life crisis period, was inspired to intellectualize his personal issues through the desire to physically manipulate the wax medium to develop six marquettes of the human form in action. The three he has chosen to exhibit are expressively manipulated forms, which achieve the dynamic force so successfully captured in bronze. The practice is ancient and speak of a cultured time.

The three timber sculptures in the display case are relatively speaking ‘cool’ in temperament.

Bruce plays with familiar ideas gathering motifs from the every day.

Chook V, jarrah,11 x 9 x 8 cm, by Bruce Norton

Chook V is described by Bruce as a comfortable object which he encourages its buyer to hold, caress and fondle it in hope that this little heart shape will radiate pleasure.

Case shot, with Modesty, jarrah, 26 x 9 x 7 cm, in centre

Modesty is an exploration of what appears to me as Cubist shapes. This piece successfully shows the beauty of the timber in a variety of lights and shadows. Modesty has been sanded and buffed to a high degree, evident in the round.

Ranga, redgum and fabric, 18 x 22 x 28 cm, by Bruce Norton

Ranga is a quirky, ironic piece of satire which Daumier would be proud of. The timber sculpture represents a female politician and I must say Bruce has been courageous to find an effigy head from a common red gum house stump.


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