christine borland


25 November 2010 – 16 April 2011

Cast From Nature was Borland’s first solo exhibition of new work in Glasgow since her acclaimed exhibition From Life at Glasgow’s Tramway, 16 years ago.

Cast From Nature took as its starting point the striking fiberglass sculpture From Nature (credited to John Goodsir F.R.C.S Edinburgh) part of the permanent collection of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. Intrigued by this anonymous, partially flayed body, Borland set about looking for the original and further information about its’ subject. After finding a plaster version of the same figure, abandoned in the basement of Edinburgh’s Medical School, there followed a six month process in Glasgow Sculpture Studios, where Borland set to work publicly, making a mould and recasting the original.

In a restorative act of repair, and in order to reveal the process of the mould making and casting, Borland set up a ‘live’ situation in both GSS galleries. Seated on the a specially constructed arena, the audience was able to view, on two video screens, a live feed of the gradual production of the mould, which eventually encased the subject’s entire body. Taking place over a number of months and eventually encasing the subject’s entire body, the work emphasises the performative nature of the anatomy theatre, as well as the more contemporary, hands off nature of surgical observation rooms and remote learning in current medical education.

Borland unveiled the final stage of her nine-month project in March 2011 in the GSS gallery which comprised of her new interpretation of the original sculpture.

A new version of the work was re-presented at Camden Arts Centre in a solo exhibition in May 2011. A complimentary film work made by Borland with the support of the RSA’s Morton Bequest, and featuring Cast From Nature was screened at the RSA Edinburgh in April 2011.

The exhibition was accompanied by a commissioned essay by Rebecca Gordon, writer and art historian based in Glasgow.

The exhibition preview was sponsored by The Glenfiddich Distillery.

The exhibition and residency was supported by Art in HospitalsSchool of Bio Medical Life Sciences, Edinburgh University, Medical HumanitiesSchool of Medicine, Glasgow UniversityStreetlevel Photoworks and The Royal Scottish Academy.

Christine Borland’s Free Thursday Lunchtime Talks Programme featured Dr. Quentin Fogg, artists Kirsty Stansfield Brody Condon, Dr. Karen Lury in conversation with Dr. Simon Murray and Dr. Jon Wood.