‘To be Set and Sown in the Garden’ by Christine Borland, is a major work commissioned by the University of Glasgow to celebrate the 550th anniversary of the foundation of the University.
The commission was developed through close dialogue between the artist, working as a Research Fellow, in collaboration with staff across University Departments.
Borland focused on the discovery of a planting list for a Physic Garden in the University. The list was drawn up by the Rev. Mark Jameson, a student who served as Rector’s Deputy in 1555, when the University was sited close to Glasgow Cathedral. It is unclear whether this garden was ever planted; the earliest physic garden in the University is not officially recorded until the 18th Century. Many of the plants thought to have been proposed for the garden are known to have ecbolic qualities.
Each bench has a head-rest. The white porcelain pillows are replicas of the wooden headrests used in anatomical dissection. The blocks are commonly used in dissection theatres as ‘pillows’ to support the head of the corpse being studied. Each pillow is engraved with adaptations of the original illustration of a plant illustrated in Fuchs’ herbal ‘The History of Plants’