Marion Borgelt | Our turning World

15 September – 8 October 2016


Borgelt’s works of art are illusive and hypnotic through the play on refraction, light, pattern and the optical. Via an almost cosmological collision of particles on canvas or in sculptural form – Borgelt’s works draw the viewer into the frame.1


To engage with the work of Marion Borgelt is to enter a vortex of perception. The customary rules don’t apply here; one is faced with distortions of time, space, and fundamental conjectures of humanity, the cosmos, and our fleeting place in the face of the infinite.There is no rambling narrative, nor is there a consistent and tangible formula to decipher. Borgelt’s forms are vividly universal in the most archetypal Jungian way. It is a common form and a common art that is as primitive as we are, yet as complex as an equation.


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Marion Borgelt is drawn to fundamental shapes: the circle, the crescent, the sphere, the spiral, the oval and the grid. Diverse as her practice is, there is a common thread in her work—the interplay of polarities—the organic and the man-made, light and shade, the conceptual and the sensual, the cosmic and the primordial, the micro-cosmic and macrocosmic. Her dynamic is derived from the shifting balance of dualities.2


The circle is primary. Borgelt treats the circle as a medium in and of itself. The current exhibition including Tsukimi with Rings: Variation No. 3 proposes an evolution of change, a march from one whole to another. The Lunar Arc, with the example here of Lunar Arc: Gold Eclipse No 1, is a study of shifting paradigms, a life cycle of sorts. The Tsukimi Whorl series, (featuring numbers 22 & 23) presents us with an entire cosmological possibility, settled on a golden precipice, caught in a time-freeze, adorned with egg shell and veiny timber. Full Circle Black/Gold No 2 is entropy. Lunar Wave: No 1 is a pulsing, rhythmic, celestial serpentine form demonstrating the utter dichotomy of Marion Borgelt’s art practice. Light and shade, black and white (silver), angles and curves, layer and layer.Marion Borgelt’s practice is as diverse as it is dichotomous. There is play inherent on every surface and every angle; plays on light, time, balance, viewership.Much like the grand Romanticisms of Caspar David Friedrich, or Barnett Newman, simplistic forms belie suggestions of grandeur and cosmic awareness. To Borgelt time is an inconstant, a linear circle with no beginning and no end.


A leading Australian artist with a prodigious career spanning some 30 years, Borgelt’s work draws inspiration from subjects such as semiotics, language, optics and phenomenology to create atavistic fantasies and mysteries that take form in paintings, sculptures and installations.


Drawing on experience with a wide range of materials, including bees-wax, canvas, felt, pigment, stainless steel, wood, stone and organic matter, she hones her ideas to the demands of a given site, mediating the creative intervention with originality and sensitivity.


Borgelt has undertaken a number of large public and corporate commissions, including a site-specific work, Candescent Moon (2011), 101 Collins Street, Melbourne; Crown Towers at City of Dreams in Macau; a commemorative sculptural installation for the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, entitled Man’s Destiny Resides in the Sole (2005); Time and Tide (wait for no man) (2004), for J P Morgan Chase, Sydney; Pulse (2001), commissioned by the Australian National University, Canberra, in collaboration with Catherine Donnelley; and Primordial Alphabet and Rhythm (1999) – a monumental work for News Limited, Sydney.


Marion Borgelt has exhibited extensively in national and international survey exhibitions. Marion’s work is represented in the major museums, regional, university and corporate collections in Australia and internationally.


  1. Excerpt from an essay by Sarah Johnson, Curator, Newcastle Art Gallery, Marion Borgelt: Memory & Symbol, exhibition catalogue.
  2. Excerpt from ‘Dancing Through Darkness and Light’ by Victoria Hynes, published in World Sculpture News, July 2016.