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Australian art

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Samsara 3



Margaret Worth


1944 -


Margaret Worth is an Australian painter who came to prominence in Adelaide in the mid to late 1960s. Inspired by American and Australian post-painterly abstraction and her abiding interest in science, mathematics and spirituality, Worth created dynamic hard-edged and modular paintings that encapsulated the spirit of 1960s abstraction.

'Samsara 3' belongs to an energetic series of abstract works that synthesises the visual language of science with Eastern religion and philosophy. The wavy, rainbow coloured bands flowing throughout the middle of the image recalls a sine wave but also Buddhist concept of 'samsara', the journey a soul undergoes during reincarnation.

Worth explains, 'I was interested in Buddhism and read about the boddhisattva Kuanyin, who travelled on a pathway, shown as coloured ribbons, between earth and enlightenment. Upon reaching the threshold to Nirvana, Kuanyin's chosen role was to stay and assist humans reach that state of enlightenment. I saw Art as somehow akin to Kuanyin. To me, the recurring cycle of birth, death and rebirth - Samsara, the pathway to enlightenment - seemed to marry the physical reality of energies with the spiritual concept of existence. I saw making Art as Samsara' [1].

1. Margaret Worth email correspondence with Nick Yelverton, 17 Aug 2019




Media category


Materials used

synthetic polymer paint on canvas


165.5 x 166.1 x 4.0 cm stretcher; 166.4 x 166.8 x 5.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated u.l. verso on stretcher bar, faded black synthetic polymer paint? "M.G. WORTH JAN 68 ...".
Signed l.l. verso on stretcher bar, faded black synthetic polymer paint? "MG. WORTH ..."
Signed u.r. verso on stretcher [vertically], black fibre-tipped pen "MG. WORTH".


Patrick White Bequest Fund 2019


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Margaret Worth

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history