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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What's happening right now at Deveron Projects? What's happening right now at Deveron Projects?

Christine Borland

Flax

2019 – 2020

A modern woman sees a piece of linen, but the medieval woman saw through it to the flax fields, she smelt the reek of the retting ponds, she felt the hard rasp of the hackling, and she saw the soft sheen of the glossy flax.
Dorothy Hartley
Exploring the past through new growth

Christine Borland is a visual artist based in Kilcreggan, Argyll. She joined Deveron Projects in Spring 2019 for a 2-year research and production period to develop a flax growing project with the comunity.

Huntly has once a thriving linen industry. Replaced by cotton, this has been reduced over the decades. And so have the flax fields surrounding the town. How can we make the process of producing linen visible? What kind of things can we learn from this industrial heritage?

After seeing the artefacts in the former Brander Museum which document Huntly's thriving eighteenth century linen industry, Christine has embarked on researching this heritage and its subsequent decline in slow time; through the growing, harvesting and processing of the flax plant which for centuries was widespread in the area. Her enquiry takes place alongside a community of interested local growers and craftspeople, led by the Town is the Garden project team. Starting on 5th April, a section of a circular flax planting was seeded every week for 6 weeks in the Brander Garden where it grows as the literal test-bed for this project. A regular series of talks and events to consider and share some of the project's wider themes will take place throughout the growth cycle of the plant, reflecting the alchemical potential that simple seed-sowing can lead directly to production of the finest bed linen, lace or burial shroud.

The artist welcomes enquiries from those interested in any aspect of flax or linen; please get in touch.