Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925 – 2006
Ian Hamilton Finlay combines his love of the sea with his love of literature and the potency of words. In the 1960s he was widely known as one of Britain’s foremost concrete poets, but went on to extend his ideas beyond the printed page to become objects in the world. His work, often collaborative and in a wide variety of materials including stone carvings, constructions and neon lighting, is a unique blend of art and poetry. Sailing Dinghy encapsulates the artist’s passion for ships and the sea, the boat was used by Ian Hamilton Finlay himself and is accompanied by a poem which evokes its movement. Much of his early poetry concerns sailing and fishing boats.
Artist Rooms is an important new public collection of international contemporary art, shared across the UK through a unique collaboration between the Art Fund, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Assembled by collector and curator Anthony d’Offay over a 30 year period, it comprises over 700 works and takes the form of 50 rooms by 25 artists. The idea behind the collection is to show individual artists’ work in more depth, in one or more ‘rooms’ of their work, and to show them all across the UK so that as many people as possible can experience them.