Michael Norman

Background Info

Date of Birth: 26/03/1970

Totem: Black Duck, Taipan

Language: Thaayorre

Clan: Thaayorre

Shop all artworks by Michael Norman here


'I am a Thaayorre culture and saltwater man.

Pormpuraaw country belongs to my clan and I own important inland freshwater country. This place is where the rainbow serpent emerged from under a big rock and spat out all living animals. My country is who I am. I belong to it, and it belongs to me. We believe that an art work made in our country belongs to it. So we often feel sad when an artwork leaves Pormpuraaw to be exhibited elsewhere. It's like a part of us is leaving. 

I started working at Pormpuraaw Art centre in 2014. I am glad to be part of the Centre and to work with my fellow artists and countrymen. I have made paintings and prints, but now spend most of my time making 3D works from ghost net. I am happy to be sharing my culture with the outside world. My totems are the emu, black duck and spear, and, through my work  I celebrate these totems and the songlines of my ancestors'. 

Michael Norman's work has a contemporary yet naive style. It is sincere, connected and always experimental. In 2016 he exhibited two impressive ghost net sculptures at the Oceanic Institute in Monaco. These works incorporate the use of galvanised fence, which the artist felt reflected the pattern of netting and represented the crocodile  scales. 

Michael Norman's work is on show at the Pormpuraaw Art Centre, Canopy Art, Cairns, Tali Gallery in Sydney; and has been exhibited at CIAF, Kinship, TARNARTHI and Urban Paradise, Gold Coast.

Group Exhibitions

2019 CIAF - Cairns Indigenous Art Fair - Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal , Cairns QLD
2017 Australia: Defending the Oceans - United Nations Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland
2017 Australia: Defending the Oceans - United Nations Ocean Conference, New York USA
2017 Australia: Defending the Oceans - Paris Aquarium,Paris, France
2016 Tabba Nabba - Oceanic Institute, Monaco


2018 Pormpuraaw : stories, art, language. [Pormpuraaw Arts & Culture Centre Inc.] Pormpuraaw, Qld : Pormpuraaw Arts & Culture Centre Inc © 2018
2016 Pormpuraaw: Cultural Uses For Plants. [Pormpuraaw Arts & Culture Centre Inc.] Pormpuraaw, Qld : Pormpuraaw Arts & Culture Centre Inc © 2016


Print Making


Ghost net, Plastic Trellis and Twine


Winner of CIAF 2018 Peoples Choice Award