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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

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Marion Borgelt

2001
Cherry Hood

watercolour on paper (frame: 181.5 cm x 127.0 cm, sight: 150.5 cm x 101.5 cm)

Marion Borgelt (b. 1954) grew up on a farm in the Wimmera district in western Victoria and attained her Diploma in Fine Art, majoring in painting, from the South Australian School of Art in 1976. She won the Harry P Gill Memorial Medal, awarded to the School's most outstanding final year student. She then gained a teaching qualification before winning the Peter Brown Memorial Travelling Art Scholarship, which funded her postgraduate study at the New York Studio School in 1979–1980. After returning to Australia, Borgelt taught at East Sydney Technical College, the Canberra School of Art, and the City Art Institute (now the UNSW College of Art and Design). Between 1989 and 1998 she lived and worked in Paris, where she undertook a French Government Art Fellowship and Residency and a collaboration with the Rene Taze etching atelier. Borgelt held her first solo exhibitions – of paintings and works on paper – in Adelaide in the 1970s, and from 1981 she began exhibiting regularly in Sydney and Melbourne. The first survey exhibition of her work was presented by the ANU's Drill Hall Gallery in 2010, and in 2016, Newcastle Art Gallery presented Marion Borgelt: Memory and Symbol. Among Borgelt's many prizes and residencies are the Fishers Ghost Art Award (for 1990 and 1992), the Kedumba Drawing Award (in 1994), and the Australia Council's Visual Arts Board grants in 1988, 1993, 1997 and 2006. In 1996, she became the first Australian recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award.

Interviewed in 2017, Borgelt cited her rural childhood as a consistent influence on her work, 'conceptually, as much as with materials. More than anything, just seeing the life cycles of all living things has influenced me. Everything that is alive will die. So, I am interested in memory and cycles and time', Borgelt said. Though trained as a painter, her practice encompasses a range of media including sculpture, installation and temporal works, and incorporates a variety of materials and processes: wood, bronze, wax, stone and glass, for example, and firing, carving and casting. Borgelt's major public and corporate commissions include 55 Ring Maze (1999–2000), a 1.5 hectare cornfield maze at Arthur's Seat, Victoria; Man's destiny resides in the sole (2005), a site-specific installation for the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada; installations for hotels in Macau and Myanmar; Liquid Light: 63 degrees and Liquid Light: 64 degrees (2012) for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington DC; and Cascadence (2018) for Barangaroo, Sydney. Her work is held in the collections of Australia's major art museums, and in numerous other public, private and corporate collections here and overseas.

Gift of Marion Borgelt 2022. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Cherry Hood/Copyright Agency, 2022

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Cherry Hood (age 51 in 2001)

Marion Borgelt (age 47 in 2001)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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