After spending her life crafting significant sculptures across the world, Norma Redpath’s final work has been installed at the place where her journey began, Swinburne University of Technology.
Norma Redpath was a student at Swinburne during the 1940s and had hoped to sculpt a major bronze piece for Swinburne’s Advanced Technologies Centre, but sadly was unable to do so before passing away in 2013.
Throughout her career, Ms Redpath lived and worked in Australia and Italy, leaving a legacy of works such as the Treasury Fountain, Canberra and the Victorian Coat of Arms, commissioned for the National Gallery of Victoria.
In 1970, Norma Redpath received an Order of the British Empire for her services to Australian art and sculpture, which was also recognised by Swinburne in 2006 when she was awarded an honorary doctorate.
With the assistance of family and donors, an unfinished piece by Ms Redpath commenced in 1982, Door to the Unknown, Monolith, was fabricated for Swinburne’s Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre.
Associate Professor Bruce McDonald, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at Swinburne, was humbled to have been involved in a project that Ms Redpath had described as a labour of love.
“Norma had indicated to me that she owed her life to Swinburne, and we had discussed planned major pieces for Swinburne, but her health had prevented her from completing either project,” Mr McDonald said.
“When visiting her home after her passing I noticed that she had scale models of unfinished sculptures, which is where this project began.”
With financial support from Tony Zraybi, CEO of Achievement Cleaning Services, Mark Rubbo, CEO of Readings and Charles Nodrum, owner of Charles Nodrum Gallery, the piece was fabricated as originally intended by Norma Redpath.
You can view more photos of Door to the Unknown, Monolith on Swinburne’s Flickr account.