Art exhibition ventures beyond borders

​​​​​​​The political and cultural impact of borders is explored in a powerful new show at the University’s Talbot Rice Gallery.

Hundreds of colourful prints made from border patrol stamps, thought-provoking images of the Irish border and oversized sugar cubes that challenge national boundaries feature in the group exhibition. .

Conceived to coincide with the UK’s scheduled exit from the European Union, Borderlines offers fresh approaches to thinking about frontiers across the world.


Borderlines is free and runs from 23 February until 4 May 2019.

Find out more about the exhibition.

A panel discussion with some of the artists will take place on Friday, 22 February at 5pm.

#TalbotRice #Borderlines

Thought-provoking installation

More than 300 blocks of sugar are geometrically assembled on the floor of Talbot Rice’s White Gallery for Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan’s Monument of Sugar.

The large-scale installation is made from European sugar that was exported to Africa and then re-imported back to Europe as a work of art.

The artists’ thought-provoking film on the Pergamon Altar – an ancient Greek monument now housed in Berlin – will also be projected as part of the exhibition. A third film charts the rise and fall of a Dutch fishing community.

Colourful artworks

Elsewhere, artist Amalia Pica has created bright abstract images created using more than 400 stamps she has collected from bureaucratic borders.

Turner-Prize nominated Willie Doherty’s photographic work captures scenes from the Irish border between Northern Ireland and County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.

The artist uses tranquil images of seemingly unremarkable points in the road to draw contrast with the he militarised border that was in place before the Belfast Agreement, and to suggest the dramatic impact Brexit may have in the future.

International artists 

In 2015, Spanish artist Santiago Sierra planted a black flag – a symbol of anarchism – at the geographic North and South Poles as a critique on territorialism. Striking photographs from the expedition will feature in the show.

Ownership and trading of minerals is the focus of Lara Almarcegui’s work. Her artwork depicts sites of mineral rights she has been successful in obtaining, unearthing how the land beneath our feet is governed.

Italian artist Rossella Biscotti’s intricate maps track the research uncovered as she attempts to tip a huge slab of marble into international waters.

Powerful messages

Ruth E Lyons carved salt bowls mined from a salt deposit that dates back millions of years, and runs beneath the earth from Poland to Ireland.

A film that uses dance to define tribal territories in Cambodia will be projected in Talbot Rice’s Georgian Gallery. The piece is a result of artist Khvay Samnang’s relationship with the indigenous Chong people, and his understanding of the tribe’s land and regions.

Other artists on show are Núria Güell, Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor.

Related links

Talbot Rice Gallery 

Study at Edinburgh College of Art