Sisterly, The Dowse Museum, May – September 2023
Rosaleen Norton (1917-1979) and A. Lois White (1903-1984) were both artists born in New Zealand in the early 20th century, whose allegorical work often centred around the female body. By the early 1970s, their wildly different life paths saw one artist dismissed as a scandalous occultist, the other as hopelessly conservative and old-fashioned. But the surprising similarities in their work reveal that there is far more to both than wicked witch or prudish painter.
Curated by Dr Chelsea Nichols and Aaron Lister, Sisterly puts White and Norton’s work in conversation with contemporary artist Jen Alexandra, whose work forges a spiritual sisterhood between the three women. Centred around a spectacular central altarpiece, Alexandra’s levitating sculptures pay homage to White and Norton, teasing out elements of sexuality, magic and female power that have always existed in their art.
Photography courtesy of The Dowse Museum