Following yesterday’s fallen star by Ceal Floyer we arrive today at Alec’s Finlay’s sky-reaching installation for Jupiter Artland ‘A Variety of Cultures’. If Ceal’s work channels the poetic potential of...
Following yesterday’s fallen star by Ceal Floyer we arrive today at Alec’s Finlay’s sky-reaching installation for Jupiter Artland ‘A Variety of Cultures’. If Ceal’s work channels the poetic potential of ordinary things, Alec Finlay’s embraces poetry itself as an inherent part of everyday life. Which makes sense, as he is first and foremost a poet, as indeed was his father Ian Hamilton Finlay whose work appeared as part 40 of this sequence.
This work in particular owes something to another artist/poet - the 18th century visionary William Blake - whose tiny engraving of a ladder stretching to the moon (‘I want I want’ ) has inspired so many artists down the years with its sense of deep yearning for the things that lie beyond reach. Like Blake, words and images are almost always linked for Finlay - shifting between observation of what our eyes tell us to be true and we see in our hearts and minds. In this case we are faced with an orchard of native fruit trees, “an essay in eco-poetics”, as Alec describes “to grow season by season, gradually transforming ladders with fruit trees into fruit trees with apples”. As such it is work that seems intensely hopeful – a vision for the future – which won’t be fully realised for another 20 years. It’s the kind of optimistic commitment to future generations that has become part of the message at Robert and Nicky Wilson’s Jupiter Artland, and which feels more necessary now than ever. We are lucky to have them in Scotland.
This week Alec was announced as one a recipient of the 2020 Cholmondeley Awards for poetic achievement. Congratulations Alec.