Exhibition - Ian Hamilton Finlay: Early Works (1958 - 1970)

11 October - 26 November 2016

It is exactly fifty years since Ian Hamilton Finlay moved to Stonypath, the little farm deep in the Pentland Hills which became Little Sparta, one of the finest artist-gardens of all time and one of Scotland’s greatest 20th century artworks. Finlay arrived at Stonypath in the early days of October 1966 with his wife Sue and their six month old son Alec. A daughter Ailie was born soon after and in the years that followed Ian and Sue transformed their bleak surroundings into a poet's garden in the classical style. He the poet-artist, and she the gardener, tending the poems, as Sue put it, in the ever-changing landscape. The years immediately before and after this move to Stonypath represent one of the richest seams of Finlay’s career - a flourishing in which the concrete poetry that had begun to make his name found an even more concrete form as sculptures and poem-objects in the garden. In recognition of this anniversary, and also marking ten years since Ian Hamilton Finlay’s death, we are pleased to present a small exhibition centred around the year 1966, and extending a few years either side to include some of Finlay's seminal early works.