Christine Borland

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Christine Borland
EducationUniversity of Ulster and Glasgow School of Art
MovementYoung British Artists

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


Borland studied Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art and later was awarded an MA from the University of Ulster in 1988.[1] Borland was on the committee of Transmission Gallery, Glasgow from 1989 to 1991.


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."[2]

Her artistic outputs have included sculpture, printmaking and photography.

In 1997, she was a nominee for the 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]

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

In 2012 she was appointed BALTIC Northumbria University Professor - where she heads the Institute of Contemporary Art in Newcastle. This is a collaborative venture between Northumbria University and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

Selected Exhibitions[edit]

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.[4]

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.

Selected Collections[edit]

  • Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brown & Tufnell (eds), Katrina M. & Rob (2001). Here + Now - Scottish Art 1990-2001. Dundee Contemporary Arts. p. 42. ISBN 0 9535178 7 X.
  2. ^ The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas: press release 2002 Archived 10 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 24 March 2006
  3. ^ Christine Borland by Robert Mahoney Retrieved 24 March 2006
  4. ^ Christine Borland at the Lisson by Melissa E. Feldman Retrieved 24 March 2006
  5. ^ "Christine Borland at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh". Retrieved 2018-05-24.

External links[edit]