The Cultural Negotiation of Science  
Department of Arts  
Northumbria University 

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

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Positive Pattern, Christine Borland
Commissioned artwork for the Institute of Transplantation

Commissioner’s note

The Institute of Transplantation is the first centre of its kind dedicated solely to the provision and advancement of solid organ transplant surgery for those whose lives depend on it. As part of its on-going work to advance understanding of organ donation, the Organ Donation Committee commissioned Christine Borland to create an artwork for the Institute of Transplantation that would honour the contribution of organ donors and their families.

For over two years Christine worked with staff and donor families to explore, reveal and gain an understanding of their experiences and perspectives to inform the narratives and ideas behind the artwork.

We thank all those involved for their generosity, honesty and trust, and Christine for her sensitivity and thought- fulness. It has been a long and worthwhile journey. We hope that all those who encounter the artwork pause to reflect on the courage and humanity of organ donors and their families.

Organ Donation Committee, August 2017

Artist’s note

On the understanding that the job of the Institute is to care for organ recipients and their families, I based the development of my idea on the question of how to acknowledge an absent, invisible but vital presence.

Research to inform the development of the work concentrated most specifically on the medical journey of organ donors and their families. Each highly individual experience and the generous, intimate, descriptive portrayals by the relatives of organ donors, led me to develop the work ‘Positive Pattern’.

The sculptures are abstract shapes suspended inside museum cases, which evoke an air of waiting; perhaps for a future, as yet un-imaged function. Though unrecognisable as such, they are representations of the interi- or spaces of 5 carved wooden sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, one of the most important British sculptors of the 20th Century. They were made by laser-scanning chambered interiors of original Hepworth sculptures, owned by major national and international museums. The new representations of the interior spaces invite engagement, and imagine a new identity for forms which are usually hidden or obscured from public view.

Christine Borland, August 2017

The artist wishes to thank: the Hepworth Estate; Tate London; Hirshhorn Museum and
Sculpture Garden Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C.; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Edinburgh and The Pier Arts Centre Stromness, for permission to scan the original Hepworth works. 

Positive Pattern
 

You are invited to join us for a special event to celebrate the official unveiling of a new artwork by Christine Borland, commissioned by the Organ Donation Committee of Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust for the Institute of Transplantation. We hope you can join us:

When: 12th October 2017, 18:00 - 20:00
Where: Level 4, Institute of Transplantation, Freeman Hospital,

High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN

 

From the Newcastle Hospitals Organ Donation Committee 

Further information

Christine Borland

Detail, Positive Pattern (Pendour) 2017