Christine Borland, Small Objects that Save Lives, 1996

Cibachrome prints

Christine Borland (b. 1965 Darvel, Ayrshire) Lives and works in Helensburgh

This artwork comprises 170 individual photographs, all similar in size to a postcard, laid out in a large grid. Each photograph features an object nominated by an individual as being 'life-saving'. The artist contacted individuals on a gallery mailing list and asked them to send her the objects. Many of the objects included are humorous, others are quite poignant, or unusual. They range from practical, everyday objects to the bizarre and unique. The artist's approach can be likened to that of a museum cataloguing artefacts.

Small Objects that Save Lives photographs


"To collect the objects in Small Objects that Save Lives, I invited people whose names were taken from a gallery mailing list to send me an object which might ­ either literally or metaphorically ­ respond to the title.

"The result forms an object-based portrait of a cross-section of individuals and suggests 'evidence' of our fetishes, or perhaps of our faith."  Christine Borland

Artist Biography

Christine Borland studied in the Environmental Art Department at Glasgow School of Art and then gained a Master of Fine Art from the University of Ulster. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996. Her work often relates to her interests in forensics, criminology and human genetics and frequently challenges the idea of a divide between science and art.

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