Christine Borland

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Christine Borland
Born 1965
Darvel, Ayrshire, Scotland
Education University of Ulster and Glasgow School of Art
Movement Young British Artists

Christine Borland (born 1965, Darvel, Ayrshire, Scotland) is a Scottish artist and one of the Young British Artists (YBAs).

In 2004, she became one of five artist awarded the prestigious Glenfiddich Artist in Residence programme.


Borland attended the University of Ulster, and the Glasgow School of Art.

She has recently been appointed BALTIC Northumbria University Professor - where she will head the Institute of Contemporary Art in Newcastle. This is a collaborative venture between Northumbria University and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

She works with forensic science and medicine, including police and judicial processes and collaborations with the Medical Research Council’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at Glasgow University. She has said, "The heart of what I am trying to discuss is very dark, very strong and passionate, and if you can reach that through quite a rational process, I think it becomes more powerful, and importantly, more powerful to the viewer."[1]


In November 1996, she presented a show Second Class Male, Second Class Female, which was of two reconstructed heads.

In 1997, for her first solo show in London, L'Homme Double at the Lisson Gallery, she commissioned 6 academically-trained sculptors to make life-size clay heads of the Nazi Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele from photocopied pictures of him which she provided and descriptions which Auschwitz survivors had made.[2]

In 1997, she was a nominee for the "all women" Turner Prize, which was won by Gillian Wearing. The art works that Borland exhibited included The Dead Teach the Living (1997), originally displayed at the 1997 Munster Sculpture Project in Germany, was a group of computer-reconstructed heads cast in white plaster that show different racial stereotypes. After a True Story—Giant and Fairy Tales (1997) showed a negative impression of the skeletal remains of an 18th-century dwarf and contrasted them with a 19th-century giant. Phantom Twins (1997), consisted of leather "dolls" containing real foetal skeletons. Her work From Life was a record of her forensic reconstruction of a missing Asian woman. This started with a skeleton and concluded with a bronze cast of the head. The concern of the artist was with issues of depersonalisation of the individual that take place with medical establishments. Her rebuilding of a missing person was a process of re-personalisation.[3]

Solo exhibitions include the Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia), Dundee Contemporary Arts, De Appel (Amsterdam), Fundação Serralves (Lisbon), Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Zurich) and Cast From Nature, Camden Arts Centre (London).

In 2015 she collaborated with Brody Condon on Circles of Focus, presented at CCA Glasgow.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Designer Bodies
  • Video of the artist creating and preparing works for the Camden Arts Centre exhibition "Cast from Nature" May–July 2011{link}