A Lifetime of Love, 1993
Secondhand blankets and quilts
36 in. x 96 in. x 108 in.
Gift of Dr. Marvin and Elayne Mordes
Sculptor and installation artist Christine Borland is among a group of neo-conceptual artists who emerged from Scotland in the 1990s and included contemporaries such as Douglas Gordon. A Lifetime of Love brought Borland to international prominence with its inclusion in the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993. Her sculptural installation was shown in the British section of Aperto, the open exhibition focused on works by emerging artists, where it was displayed next to works by Damien Hirst and Rirkrit Tiravanija.
Borland’s interdisciplinary work often engages with scientific fields including forensics and criminology, encouraging the viewer to think about how meaning becomes invested in objects. Each blanket and quilt in A Lifetime of Love has accrued an individual history. Borland commented at the time of the work’s creation: “A bed is such a personal space. The quilts are old and worn, each with its own story to tell.” A Lifetime of Love prompts consideration of the frailty of physical objects—both the quilts and blankets themselves and the human bodies they have covered. The meaning of this quiet, thoughtful work is complicated by its title, which may elicit associations for the viewer related to sleep, comfort, warmth and intimacy, or alternately of being subdued or stifled.
Listen to audio from Elizabeth Shannon, PhD.