University unveils major public art commission

Published: 15 October 2002

TODAY, 15th October, the University of Glasgow will unveil a major public art commision 'To be Set and Sown in the Garden' by leading Scottish artist Christine Borland.

On 15 October, the University of Glasgow will unveil a major public art commission 'To be Set and Sown in the Garden' by leading Scottish artist Christine Borland.

The work is sited in one of the University's focal public green spaces - between the grade A-listed Round Reading Room and the Hunterian Art Gallery, close to the junction of Hillhead Street and University Avenue in Glasgow's West End.

The commission has been developed through close dialogue between the artist, working as a Research Fellow, and a wide spectrum of the University. With the assistance of colleagues in the Anatomy Department, curators in the Hunterian Museum, and particularly Professor J.H. Dickson in the Institute of Biomedical Life Sciences, Borland focused on the discovery of a planting list for a Physic Garden in the University. The list was drawn up by the Rev. Mark Jameson, a student who served as Rector's Deputy in 1555, when the University was sited close to Glasgow Cathedral. It is unclear whether this garden was ever planted; the earliest physic garden in the University is not officially recorded until the 18th Century.

The finished piece, produced in collaboration with landscape architects Loci Design and under the project management of Tom Littlewood of Ginkgo Design is the first in which Borland has tackled a work in a open-air setting of her own design. A series of low benches to sit and lie on, are laid out like beds in a mediaeval garden. Each bench has a headrest whose shape is based on the simple blocks used in dissection theatres as 'pillows' to support the head of the corpse. These are hand made in white ceramic and engraved with adaptations of the original illustration of each plant from the herbal.

The Artist

Born in Darvel, Ayrshire in 1965, Christine Borland studied at the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Ulster, Belfast. Her work has been exhibited extensively in both private and public galleries throughout the UK, Europe and USA. Christine lives and works in Kilcreggan, Helensburgh.

Recent solo exhibitions have been at the Lisson Gallery, London; De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam; the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Houston, Texas and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland. In 1997 she was commissioned to develop a new work for the Munster Sculpture Project which was subsequently shown at the Tate Gallery, London as part of the Turner Prize exhibition.

For further information contact

Hunterian Art Gallery

Mungo Campbell 330 4735

Tom Littlewood 07711 327 025

Original announcement of art commission can be found at
Hunterian Art Gallery/Christine Borland

Media Relations Office (

First published: 15 October 2002

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