Six Definitions (2001)
About this artwork
This was the first sculptural commission undertaken by Finlay for the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art since 1976. The work is sited in the grounds of Modern Two. It consists of six separate inscriptions in bronze: Temple, Grove, Horizon, Peace, Shadow and Sheep. Each word is accompanied by its definition and a sentence from a literary source. 'Temple' is seen by visitors when they arrive at the Gallery, and introduces the building as a kind of temple of learning. The other five words face visitors as they look out over the Gallery grounds. They suggest tranquillity and an ideal landscape.
- title: Six Definitions
- accession number: GMA 4404
- artist: Ian Hamilton FinlayScottish (1925 - 2006)
- gallery: Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art Two(On Display)
- object type: Sculpture
- subject: Classical literature
- materials: Series of wall inscriptions, cast in bronze
- date created: 2001
- measurements: Temple, 66.60 x 308.00 cm; Grove, 17.50 x 276.00 cm; Shadow, 17.50 x 342.00 cm; Peace, 17.50 x 292 cm; Horizon, 17.50 x 362.00; Sheep, 17.50 x 276.00 cm
- credit line: Commissioned with the assistance of the Art Fund 2001
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Finlay was born in the Bahamas to Scottish parents, who returned to Scotland when he was a child. He attended Glasgow School of Art for a brief period but began his career as a writer of 'concrete poetry'. Finlay's work investigates the power of images and symbols, particularly those associated with militarism, politics, classicism and nature. Creating an analogy between war and the forces of Nature, he highlighted the thin line that exists between creation and destruction, order and disorder, culture and chaos. His art presents a challenging and often complex fusion of poetry, graphic design and sculpture. In 1966 Finlay moved to a farmhouse in the Pentland Hills, south of Edinburgh, where he created a sculpture garden called Little Sparta to display his artworks in a natural setting.