Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Ian Finlay RIP

The Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay just died. I knew him once. Back in the early 70s. He was already a burning light and I was a a drippy kid. We fell out; he fell out with most people sooner or later; He was a very combative man.


I have a bunch of letters from him. He was a very good letter writer. I guess my collection of Finlayiana constitutes an archive.

OK, future biographers: here I am. You may get in touch.

My parents commissioned a sun-dial from him. It still stands in my mother's back garden. But aligned wrong, so it's useless for telling the time.

(I am a sundial and I make a botch
Of what is done far better by a watch
Hilaire Belloc)

Ian's farm at Little Sparta- with its landscape full of significant sculptural objects (to call it a sculpture park would be to miss out a dimension or two) has been called the single greatest work by any Scottish artist.

My most precious memory is of him saying goodnight to his kids. "If you lie very still you'll hear the wind blowing across the world."
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