Thursday, 24 April 2014

Current Activities

Ray Norman – Artist, Metalsmith, Networker,  Independent Researcher, Launcestonian, Cultural Theorist, Cultural Geographer and a hunter of Deep Histories. 

Ray is Co-Director of zingHOUSEunlimited, a lifestyle design enterprise and network offering a range of services linked to contemporary cultural production and cultural research. Roles: Researcher, Designer & Maker, Graphic Design and Web Design Facilitator.

Ray is currently operating as an 'advocate' for local governance and specifically interested in placemaking, placescaping and the CULTURALlandscaping that is facilitated largely by local governance. 

Ray is also engaged with the nudgelbah institute as a cultural geographer.  That institute's vision is to be network of research networks and to be a diverse vehicle through which place oriented scholarship and cultural endeavours can be acknowledged, honoured and promoted.... ONline LINK –

Ray is also engaged with the nudgelbah institute.  The institute's vision is for it to be a rhizomic network of research networks and researchers education institutions, museums, cultural orgainisations, heritage networks, cultural producers, galleries, publishers, et al – that is devised to be a vehicle through which place oriented scholarship and cultural endeavours can be acknowledged, honoured and promoted.

In 2013 with Prof. Bill Boyd & Ray co-edited COOLABAH an online journal emanating out of the Australian Studies Unit at Barcelona University. [Image Links]

Current Plus Recent Projects & Research: 


Ray Norman was born in Kyogle northern New South Wales and spent his childhood in Mullumbimby on the Brunswick River. Like many Australians of his generation he has moved around Australia living in metropolitan and regional cities and towns. While his primary practice has been as a 'cultural producer' most recently he has been engaged in research relevant to place, placescaping, placemaking and placemarking.

QUALIFICATIONS: Ray undertook an apprenticeship in jewellery & metalsmithing and holds the relevant trade certificate. Concurrent with his apprenticeship he studied sculpture, drawing & ceramics part-time in the evenings at the National Art School in Sydney. His most recent academic qualification completed was a Master of Fine Arts Degree by Research (Monash University) gained in 1995.

EXPERIENCE: Upon completing his apprenticeship with Magnus Goldring Pty Ltd in Sydney in 1967, Ray later worked as a designer jeweller for Anina, a leading Sydney boutique retail jewellery outlet at the time. In 1969 he founded and managed the Sturt Metal Studio a production and training workshop at Sturt Workshops in Mittagong until 1984. At Sturt his duties included studio production, the provision of studio based vocational training, teaching secondary education classes, community classes and conducting special workshops & seminars as well as playing a joint role in the overall administration and management of Sturt Workshops – a division of Winifred West Schools.

In 1974 Ray received an international study grant from the Australia Council. He undertook a special program of study at the Birmingham Polytechnic in the UK within the Birmingham School of Jewellery & Slversmithing. He was a foundation member of the Crafts Council of Australia (now Craft Australia) and he served on several boards and committees until he moved to Tasmania. He was also a foundation member of the Jewellers & Metalsmiths Group Australia and coordinated the group's inaugural conference at Sturt in 1980. 

When Ray moved to Tasmania in 1984 it was to take up the position of Senior Project Officer(Visual Art & Crafts) at the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board where he administered the Tasmanian Government’s Visual Arts and Crafts Grants & Loans Program, Art for Public Buildings Scheme and the Arts Based Industries Program.

In 1986 Ray took up a lecturing position in jewellery and metalsmithing in Launceston at the TSIT School of Art – now University of Tasmania's College of the Arts. During his time at the University of Tasmania he organised several national conferences as well as participating in and curating a number of exhibitions several of which toured nationally and internationally. In latter years he Chaired the University Gallery Committee and served on the NETS Tasmania (National Exhibitions Touring Support Tasmania) Management Committee.

Since leaving the University of Tasmania late 1996 Ray has been involved in a range of research projects related to current cultural production and projects related to place, placemaking and placemarking. Mostly these projects are associated with Southern Cross University. A key element of this research has been focused upon the  concept of Communities of Ownership & Interest relative to the concept of cognitive ownership relative to 'place' in the various ways that can be understood.

Ray has also maintained a research project focused on shell necklace making in Tasmania and the ways this activity has become a 'cultural marker & marker of place' and the ways the necklaces have become cultural identifiers for Aboriginal & settler communities in Tasmania and in various ways.

Throughout his career Ray has been included in major exhibitions that have toured nationally and internationally. He is represented in major public collections throughout Australia, notably the National Gallery Canberra, and has carried out many major commissions for both private clients and public institutions. He has also conducted many sessional workshops and has given papers at various conferences in his field throughout Australia.