1999 Primordial Alphabet and Rhythm, 2 Holt St, Sydney
Primordial Alphabet and Rhythm, 1999
Site-specific, multi-media installation, News Limited, Sydney Commissioner: Dr Jean Battersby.
Primordial Alphabet and Rhythm is a high profile major commission for News Limited, the Australian arm of the News Corporation Limited. This monumental work scales the five-storey high feature wall in the foyer of the company’s newly refurbished building in Surry Hills and comprises twelve large painted panels and ten low relief sculptural discs.
The scale, sequence of movement and rich use of light and colour in the work create a work of optical intensity and resonance. Its horizontal panels possess a rhythmic dynamism suggestive of the flow of communicative energy, of currents, waves and transmission signals reverberating through time and space.
The discs allude to universal pictograms and the origins of language. Their designs, derived from symbols of communication of various cultures, languages and belief systems have here been united and reinterpreted by the artist in the form of a primordial alphabet. While elemental, the work is also intrinsically Australian, encompassing the feeling of powerful light and heat against the vastness of the country.
The power of communication via elemental symbols is a recurring theme in Marion Borgelt’s work. Primordial Alphabet and Rhythm is at once direct and complex, incorporating contemporary communication methods with those that are ancient, archetypal and universal.