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Christine Borland

Christine Borland is an artist based in Argyll, Scotland and a Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University. The starting point of her first solo exhibition From Life, in 1994 at Glasgow’s Tramway, was the purchase of a human skeleton through a medical education supplies catalogue. She consulted with anatomists and forensic reconstruction experts to explore the identity of the specimen and the colonial legacies which enabled the commercial transaction of human remains. Subsequently she has developed research in negotiation with experts in institutions of science and medicine and in museums, collections and archives, making invisible practices and hidden narratives accessible through her practice.

In 2018 Borland undertook practice-based research generated in two Scottish collections: Glasgow Museums and Mount Stuart, Bute where Borland focused on the intangible heritage of World War 1 (WW1) to investigate institutional care narratives. These resulted in I Say Nothing, a permanent work for Glasgow Museums at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and To the Power of Twelve at Mount Stuart.

A major body of work developed collaboratively with artist Brody Condon includes Daughters of Decayed Tradesmen, a sculpture in jacquard cards installed in a 19th century graveyard watchtower for Edinburgh Art Festival 2013 and an ambitious, performative on-going project; Circles of Focus (CCA Glasgow 2015 and Stroom Den Haag 2016) in which Borland and Condon work with donors to interrogate the potential of body donation for artistic as well as scientific research.

Current research with partners at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh and Deveron Projects, Huntly focuses on engendering intimate connection to heritage, present and future ecology through the growing and hand-working of flax into linen. Work will be exhibited in Slow – Capture, Climate House at the Botanics in August 2021.

​For further information see: christineborland.com
Contact: christine.borland@northumbria.ac.uk

Link to publications