Norm Stewart

Norman Stewart is a descendent of the Yorta Yorta and Kwat Kwat people. His connection to country is through his Great, Great Grandfather Bagot Morgan who originated from Cummeragunja N.S.W. and also his Great, Great Grandfather Tommy McCrae who has been recognised for ink sketches. He originated from around the area where Corowa/Wahgunyah is today; this is known as Kwat Kwat country. Norm was born along the South Coast of Australia at a place call Nowra in 1958, to Norman Stewart Snr and Ellen Morgan. After moving to follow the picking season the family ended up living at Robinvale with Norm’s Grandmother on a small mission called Munatunga. As a young boy Norm has fond memories of this place specially when he hunted for bush tucker or made canoes out of corrugated iron during the flood season this enabled us to collect yabbies, turtles even pelican eggs

After leaving Munatunga, Norm and his siblings became wards of the state of Victoria in 1965; ‘we were taken from our Grandmother’s care and I spent several years in the institution before being released back to family. During my school years I enjoyed the art classes but never took it to seriously only until in the later years of my life that I began to have an interest in the arts especially  through my Great Great Grandfather Tommy McCrae’s ink sketches; His drawings have inspired me to paint our culture.’ As a new comer to the arts Norm dabbled in several different mediums to find which one he would prefer most, these range from clay, wood carvings, and acrylic and watercolour paintings. ‘My style can be a bit vast at times and quiet vivid, at first I began painting in the Aboriginal style then attempted portraiture and land scape paintings. This then encouraged me to broaden my knowledge of the Arts.’ In 2013 Norm enrolled at Deakin University for a 3 year Visual Art Degree. This helped him understand the finer points of painting and assisted in strengthen his style and technique. He completed only the first year of the degree due to obtaining full time employment. Norm paints as often as he can in his spare time. ‘Painting has been a great outlet which allows me to relax and express myself.’

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