Marion Borgelt is one of Australia’s most evocative and enduring contemporary artists whose stellar career has spanned over 40 years. Her work draws inspiration from universal themes such as life cycles, cosmology, optics and phenomenology to create highly crafted, visually spectacular works. Through a journey between two and three-dimensional works she explores connections between man-made culture and nature, between the constructed and the organic world, the cosmic and the primordial, between microcosm and macrocosm and the ever-present duality of light and dark.
Borgelt manoeuvres between vastly different scales, across numerous series of work engaging a personal language that summons up deep-felt metaphysical qualities of time and transience, about the greater world outside our immediate everyday lives. Diverse as her practice is, there is a common thread in her work manifested through the interplay of polarities.
A lexicon of symbols and motifs, at once universal and personal, distinguishes the imagery of Borgelt’s work. Drawing on experience with a wide range of materials, including bees-wax, canvas, felt, glass, 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.
In more recent years Borgelt has introduced motorised elements that add a kinetic, time-based dimension reinforcing her ideas about flux and impermanence.
Borgelt’s works are held in all major Australian museums and numerous regional, university and corporate collections throughout Australia and overseas.
About her work, Marion Borgelt says:
“I am fascinated by the nature of time and how it governs our lives and the universe we live in. In the natural world the passage of time is predominantly characterised by the existence of cycles and repetition where one phase or stage of a living, dynamic entity metamorphoses into another. I have created many series of works exploring the infinitely repetitious nature of time and the universal elements embodying this man-made construct. For example, I have had an ongoing fascination with lunar phases and the powerful effects of the moon on human life. Mutation, morphology, light, impermanence and incessant change are at the crux of much of my work. As human knowledge shifts, so does the material world, with matter constantly engaged in a process of change on every scale: growth, evolution and entropy. Much of my sculptural work focuses on undulating forms of waves, rhythms, dark/light relationships and the polarities of presence and absence. Whereas my paintings show a dream world layering of shapes and forms expressing movement and shifting parameters.”
Marion Borgelt has received numerous significant art awards including The Harry P Gill Memorial Medal, 1977, as most outstanding final year student SA School of Art; a Peter Brown Memorial Travelling Art Scholarship for study in New York (1979–80) and a fellowship from the French Government for living and working in Paris in 1989, where she consequently spent eight years. Additionally, in 1996, Borgelt was the first Australian artist awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Art Fellowship. She has been awarded Visual Arts and Crafts Australia Fellowships and grants and served as artist representative on the Boards of the Alliance Francaise and The Blake Prize.
Major commissioned works include: Musical Spheres (2020), 123 Pitt Street, Sydney; Lift Lobbies Morpheus (2019) Macau, China; Cascadence (2018), Tower One, Barangaroo, Sydney; Foyer Reception (2016), Crystal Club, Crown Towers, Perth; Liquid Light: Sule Triptych and Lunar Descent: Nos. 4 & 5 (2016), lobby reception,Yangon, Myanmar; Liquid Light: Horizontal Triptychs 3 & 4 (2013), 20 Bond Street, Sydney; Candescent Moon (2011), 101 Collins Street, Melbourne; Liquid Light: 56 Degrees (2009), lobby reception, Crown Towers, City of Dreams, Macau; Round Up Maze (2005), Shear Outback, Hay; Time and Tide (wait for no man) (2004), J P Morgan, Sydney; Pulse (2000), Australian National University, Canberra; 55 Ring Maze (2000), Arthur’s Seat, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria; Primordial Alphabet and Rhythm (1999), News Limited, Sydney