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Gallery Ramblings

  

Joe & Charles Norris - Folk Artists
(February 29,, 2016)


Joe Norris (1924 - 1996)

Charles Norris (1929 - 2013)
The Norris brothers grew up in Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia, a small fishing village not far from Peggy's Cove. They both went to sea fishing at an early age and later worked in construction, building homes and boats from local lumber. Joe retired at age 48 after a heart attack and then began painting.

Over time Joe's works became well sought after by collectors and ended up in galleries and museums throughout North America. Charles often painted alongside Joe but never achieved great recognition. His paintings were mainly given away and are not often found in galleries.


A photograph of Lower Prospect Bay
David Stevens, a Cape Breton folk artist wrote the following for a Chronicle Herald 2013 tribute for Charles. “It was never about inventory, It was about creating those pieces just to share with the public, to share with his neighbours. It was Joe that came to the forefront, but Charlie was always there in the shadows helping out. He’s like the unsung hero of folk art, It’s like a background singer for a musician. You buy the CD — and the name is Celine Dion, but we sometimes forget about the (backup) musicians. And Charlie (was like that) with visual art, he was instrumental in helping shape Joe’s career, but he never really took any credit for that. Those familiar with the siblings can spot the touches Charlie added to his brother’s paintings"



Some Lower Prospect inspired paintings by Joe Norris

Some Lower Prospect inspired  paintings by Charles Norris

The Model Village of Charles Norris
"Each morning, despite the tightness in his chest, Charlie Norris would lovingly load his wooden children into a wheelbarrow and bounce them down to the road. There, he’d painstakingly stand them up: the skiffs and the dories, the men of the sea, and all the Lower Prospect landmarks he recreated with wood, patience and a pair of weathered hands"
Laura Fraser, Chronicle Herald, August 3, 2013