Although firmly affixed to the walls, this collection of work by Marion Borgelt appears to be suspended in a unique realm somewhere between the real and surreal. Each exhibit is a portal to another level of the corporeal and/or spiritual realm. These excellently presented exhibits are still and silent, yet own a certain sense of energy, almost as if they are ever so slowly, yet deliberately, morphing into something new.
Upon entering the main gallery we first encounter the installation Nothing is Invisible, a collection of over 20 circles and lozenge shaped canvases that stand out from the surface of the wall. In a variety of sizes and painted a deep blue, each entity wears a fine spray of white droplets that gather together to form shapes or lines, or spread out to suggest either distant galaxies in space or microscopic organisms in a drop of water. We are engulfed by the sense of unity and eternity, of a pulse within, one that is echoed in tidal surges and cosmic winds. One can get lost in thought, time and space while standing in front of this stunning presentation.
When you can tear yourself away, walk around the wall and look across the gallery to see the large Lune Lumina: no.8, which may have been the origin of the galaxies you just explored. This well formed maw of creation is flanked by other references to celestial realms on the walls behind it. The installation Lunar Arc: figure c employs 8 discs while Lunar Circle: figure c has 12. As the discs travel their orbital paths they reference phases of the moon's cycle. Excellent!
Borgelt's work is hard to define. Labels like painting, relief sculpture, construction, textile all come to mind but in fact her work transcends any defining tag. The artist employs paper or canvas, painted on both sides then cut, twisted, folded, and pinned to produce 3D objects that may be placed in a perspex box to examine like a museum exhibit, or hung as relief sculptures. The Liquid Light series involves canvases that have been painted on both sides, then strips are cut through the centre. These strips are then twisted and fixed to a white backing canvas. Different hues are employed, some red and white, others black and white, but all provide a sense of movement as the effect changes as you walk by, not unlike light reflecting on water. The viewer is transfixed by the perceived kinetic effect and pleased with discovering a new way to approach and engage with a painting.
Then there is the red and black series Bloodlight where it appears the paper, linen, or canvas has been painted, cut and orchestrated into five different references to stacks or strips, that provide a sense of wonder at just the looking. Of this series Bloodlight Strip: figure 5 is my particular favourite as it owns a sense of elegance and strength. But then, so do all the exhibits in this amazing exhibition.
Borgelt's work as seen here seems to emanate from a cellular core to reach out and encompass the endless reaches of the universal mind. Don't miss this exhibition, it sits beautifully in the new gallery.
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