Stories through Art - Larry Norton Gallery

17 August 2021

Larry Norton Gallery at The Victoria Falls Hotel

Picture Title 'Until then '

The afternoon before Zimbabwe closed down for 21 days of lockdown, Sunday 29th March 2020, I decided to have a last look at the Falls. Standing at Devil's Cataract I was astounded. It was as if the Falls was showing off its full might and beauty.. rising brown floodwaters wild with power came thundering in and hurtling into the gorge below. Overhead, a sky of deep Cerulean blue laced with cloud. The Main Falls was a misted cameo framed in spray. Traversing from Cataract Island to the outer edge of the Rainforest stretched the arc of a brilliant rainbow. It was extraordinary and magnificent resonating with something I couldn't quite explain. I felt compelled to paint it. – Larry Norton on the painting depicted he titled ‘Until Then’ (The Victoria Falls).


When it comes to art that depicting African landscapes, communities, and dynamics, Larry Norton is a household name. The birth of such a unique style of organic expression began when his grandmother purchased his first set of oil paint when he was ten, and the journey delightfully continues. Larry’s primary upbringing on a farm in Zimbabwe moulded the inspiration and experiences that he eloquently and skilfully expresses in art form exhibited all over the globe as articulated in the Yahoo! Finance coverage of his world-renowned works enjoyed at the hotel.  


Upon walking into Larry Norton’s gallery in The Victoria Falls Hotel where pieces such as ‘Until Then’ are displayed, one can only soak in the seemingly effortless narratives expressed in oils, pencil, charcoal, and watercolours, one is taken into a naturally tangible world of aesthetics, imagination as well as story-telling. A descriptive write-up accompanies each displayed piece, giving one a first-class seat into his inspiration, thought pattern, and experiences expressed through the art piece.


African histories, life phases, beliefs, daily encounters, and cultural expressions were once effortlessly passed from one generation to the next through oral traditions and practices, usually led by the elders in the community. Modern dynamics such as digitalisation and Diaspora settlement by African families; have meant that rich African narratives continue to fall into the abyss. Larry Norton’s skilful concoction of producing African art narratives woven together with first-hand encounters from children of the motherland soil, make his pieces unlike any other.


For instance, it is art pieces such as ‘’Until Then’’ (Victoria Falls) that will be passed on down to generations together with the accompanying experiences of the pandemic in Victoria Falls City and globally. The city which before the lockdown buzzed with music, cross-cultural celebrations, delightful food, and colourful African fabric, song, and dance; all came to a sudden halt at the time. Businesses in the city were forced to shut down, families lost income, the laughter of children became muffled within households, and a pin dropping could be heard in the streets. Larry Norton expresses that, “It has been a year and four months since this painting was done. Uncertainty still exists but in Victoria Falls borders have opened for tourism and we are gearing up to get started with the privilege of welcoming guests back to this amazing place that we call home.”


Larry Norton will forever be honoured for the attention he brings to our motherland. The Larry Norton Gallery is one of the jewels at The Victoria Falls Hotel and is a must-visit as one enjoys entering into an almost surreal story-land, which is a unique feature in the city.


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