Robin Gillanders

The Rowan is Learning to Write (1997)

About this artwork

The garden of the sculptor, Ian Hamilton Finlay, is a construction using stone and plants together. The photographer has captured the moment when the shadow of leaves caresses the foot of the stone. The wing-shaped shadow suggests the Latin name of the rowan tree 'sorbus aucuparia', which means 'birdcatching'; and their pointed tips appear to be scribbling on the stone in agreement with the inscription.

Robin Gillanders

Robin Gillanders

Robin Gillanders was born in Edinburgh in 1952 and studied at the University of Edinburgh from 1970-4. After teaching history at the Royal High School in Edinburgh from 1975-82, Gillanders began a career as a freelance advertising and fashion photographer. He has taught photography at Napier University since 1983. More generally known as a portrait photographer, in the 1990s Gillanders worked in collaboration with the poet and sculptor, Ian Hamilton Finlay, creating a photographic work in Finlay's garden, Little Sparta, in Lanarkshire.