Our Village, Their Town (Victory) 2014
Christine Borland (1965 – )
- 51 x 102 cm
- screenprint and digital print
- Accession number
In addition to her sculptural practice and interdisciplinary research, Christine Borland (born Darvel, Ayrshire, 1965) has a longstanding connection to the performative act of weaving, reflecting her family background in the textile and lace-making industries which thrived during the 20th century in her hometown of Darvel, Ayrshire.
From the age of 10, David Livingstone (born 1813) worked as a cotton spinner in Blantyre Mill, Lanarkshire; he went on to become a pioneering medical missionary and an explorer in Africa. Borland took a studio photograph by Thomas Annan of David Livingstone (reading to his youngest daughter Anna) as the starting point for a series of experimental screenprints on to blankets woven in a textile mill (Morton, Young & Borland) in Ayrshire. She then travelled to Livingstone in Zambia, visiting and taking photographs in Kariba Textiles Ltd. This mill manufactures a variety of blankets, including emergency relief blankets, from recycled rags imported from their parent company in India and originating largely from the West.
Borland’s final prints explore the complexities of the post-colonial period as embodied in the textile industries from Scotland and Zambia. She has produced works on both cloth and paper, mixing imagery from luxury baby blankets made in Ayrshire with the plaid blankets produced in Livingstone, Zambia. The works on paper present a simplified pattern repeated on the cloth, its dimensions echoing that of the ubiquitous Zambian Chitenge, which remains in daily use as clothing, baby slings, shrouds and more. The incorporated text, ‘Our Village’ ‘Their Town’, is taken from the Ethnographic exhibit in the Livingstone Museum, which was established in 1934 as the David Livingstone Memorial Museum.
Below another sky was the first collaborative programme developed by the Scottish Print Network, a partnership between Dundee Contemporary Arts, Edinburgh Printmakers, Glasgow Print Studio, Highland Print Studio, Inverness and Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen.
10 artists from Scotland and 10 from Commonwealth countries were invited to undertake research residencies during 2013 and 2014. Artists from Scotland travelled to Antigua, Baffin Bay, Bangladesh, Canada, India, New Zealand and Zambia; artists from Australia, Canada, India and Pakistan were on residency in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.
Each artist worked with one of the five print studios on the development of ambitious and innovative new work in print, taking full advantage of the excellent range of resources, equipment and expertise available through each organisation.
Below another sky takes its name from the poem ‘Travel’, published in 1865 by the Edinburgh-born author Robert Louis Stevenson.