Christine Borland: An Hospital (2003)
Christine Borland's exhibition is inspired by the artist's research at Mount Stuart focusing on the history of the house as a naval hospital during the First World War, the botanical illustrations in the archives and the concept of collecting and collections.
Borland's research in the library led her to the discovery of botanical illustrations of crimson seaweed, which she incorporated into a wall painting of a skeleton. Archival printed and photographic material is exhibited alongside a single, white porcelain bone, and fragments of porcelain weathered by the sea. The series of photographic works 'The Velocity of Drops' presents shattered watermelons as visual metaphors for physical trauma, and the vulnerability of the human body, within the ornate interiors of Mount Stuart. Each image is named according to the location's wartime use; the Conservatory as Operating Theatre, the Purple Library as X-ray room and the Drawing Room as Surgical Ward. This exhibition was supported by Scottish Arts Council.
Christine Borland (b 1965) lives and works in Kilcreggan, Argyll. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art (BA Hons Fine Art) and the University of Ulster (MFA).
In 1993 she participated in the Aperto exhibition at the 45th Venice Biennale, followed by participation in The British Art Show 4. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997. In 2001 the University of Glasgow commissioned To be Set and Sown in the Garden, a permanent installation reflecting, as does much of her practice, research-led, cross-disciplinary approaches.
Recent projects have included solo exhibitions at Glasgow Sculpture Studios (2010), Camden Arts Centre, London (2011) Pier Arts Centre, Orkney (2012) and a collaborative project with Brody Condon for Edinburgh Art Festival (2013), CCA (2015) and Stroom Den Haag (2016). In 2017 Borland began to undertake a co-commission for 14-18 NOW and Glasgow Museums, supported by The Art Fund to research and respond to Glasgow Museums’ World War I collection. The resulting exhibition will open at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in October 2018.
Borland was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) from the University of Glasgow in 2016 and is a Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University, Newcastle.