Turner Prize 1997 artists: Christine Borland

Christine Borland has been exploring themes of creation and destruction through institutional (scientific/forensic/police) analysis and reconstitution since the early 1990s.

Turner Prize 1997 invitation

Turner Prize 1997 invitation featuring work by the four nominated artists, Christine Borland, Angela Bulloch, Cornelia Parker, Gillian Wearing

Beginning with specific behavioural experiments in which objects were destroyed (by having bullets shot at them) to create hypothetical forensic material, she made a series of works in which she gathered together fragments and documentation in order to suggest the process of piecing together a jigsaw of significant evidence. The investigation into the possibilities of interpretation resulting from such a process culminated in From Life 1994 (Arts Council Collection), which was based on a skeleton acquired by the artist through a medical mail order service. With the help of several academic institutions Borland was able to discover basic biographical information about the person (female) originally incorporating the skeleton, and to have her face reconstructed in clay. From Life expresses Borland’s desire to bring out the personal aspects of a body which become hidden in hospital and forensic operations: ‘I think the ways that we are forced to be institutionalised or compartmentalised by the institutions surrounding the body - health, medicine, birth and death - is an important subject and one which we must try to repersonalise.’ (Button, p.136)