Christine Borland’s new exhibition explores the lifecycle of flax (Linum usitatissimum), evolving RBGE’s 350-year relationship with the plant.

From flax sown at RBGE to motion-captured planting processes, In Relation to Linum is an intimate reconnection with the heritage and future of growing and making practices, and their associations with care.

Christine Borland: In Relation to Linum is an Edinburgh Art Festival 2021 partner exhibition, supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and sits within RBGE’s Climate House project, supported by Outset Contemporary Art Fund’s Transformative Grant.

Venue: Inverleith House @Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Dates: Saturday 31st July 2021 – Sunday 3rd October 2021

Start Time: 10:30

End Time: Last admission 16:15

Christine Borland: In Relation to Linum at Royal Botanics Garden Edinburgh, installation view (all photos by Keith Hunter)
Christine Borland: In Relation to Linum at Royal Botanics Garden Edinburgh, installation view


Christine Borland was born in 1965 in Darvel, Ayrshire, Scotland and lives and works in Kilcreggan on the west coast of Scotland. She studied Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art from 1983 – 1987 and Master of Fine Art at the University of Ulster in 1988. She was a part of the artist-committee of Transmission Gallery, Glasgow from 1989 to 1991.

The starting point of her first solo exhibition From Life, in 1994 at Glasgow’s Tramway, was the purchase of a human skeleton through a mail-order, medical education supplies catalogue. She then consulted with a variety of experts to explore the identity of the specimen and the implications of the processes; built upon colonial legacies, which made the commercial transaction of human remains possible. Since then she has often developed work in negotiation with experts in institutions of science and medicine and in museums, collections and archives to make invisible, often discredited practices and hidden narratives accessible.

Throughout her career, Borland has taught and been involved in research and currently works part-time as a Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University. She is founder member of the Northumbria University research group The Cultural Negotiation of Science and welcomes enquiries for doctoral and post-doctoral supervision from students wishing to pursue practice-based research.

In 2016 she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) from Glasgow School of Art/ the University of Glasgow, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (F.R.S.E.) in 2020.

Christine Borland is represented by Patricia Fleming Projects.

Video Documentary Answering Anatomy, 2018
Produced by Marissa Keating, filmed by Michael Thomas Jones, produced for the National Galleries of Scotland by Becky Manson.
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