We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Samsara 3



Margaret Worth


1944 –

  • Details

    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".

    Purchased with funds provided by the Patrick White Bequest 2019
    South Building, lower level 1, 20th-century galleries
    Accession number
    © Margaret Worth/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Margaret Worth

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

Other works by Margaret Worth