15 Sep STANDING POEM 3. (HEARTS). 1965.
Edinburgh: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (1965)
22.8 x 11.3cm, printed 1pp. Folded on both sides allowing the card to stand as intended. Printed olive green and blue on white.
JOINT WITH AS ISSUED:
13 x 11.4cm, 1pp diagrammatic card with a key to the various hearts in the standing card.
This (officially the third standing poem) related to the earlier Standing Poems in various ways – firstly that the sides of the sheet bend in to allow the work to stand up, secondly a repeating pattern of shapes (roughly formed hearts) are printed in a lattice pattern over the sheet. The Standing Poem 2 versions both have hearts as one of their motifs. It is almost as each card in turn was an evolution from the previous one (which is a reasonable argument and reflects the fact that the earlier cards had images on them that “evolved” within the card).
The colours used here differ though – olive green and blue on white is attractive but doesn’t tend to evoke any particular meaning.
The separate key card that Finlay added to the paper sculpture indicates the hearts are all different and have titles – they are Little Heart, Wooden Heart, Pond Heart, Owl Heart, Jersey Heart, Umbrella Heart, Bobbin Heart and End Heart. It is hard to see any reason why these names are chosen. Other than the lazy distribution of the hearts (again somewhat loosely reflecting a constellation) it seems nothing more than a love poem of sorts. But a little thought reminds one that there are physical elements of the prefixed objects that look heart like – an owl’s forehead, the point of the unfurled umbrella, a neckline from a Jersey and so on. Finlay loves a visual pun or simile and here it is if obscured.
This is a scarce card – Murray in his flawed catalogue raisonne claims it as the fourth ever card published but it is more probably the sixth if one includes the earlier typescript from 1963 in this collection. VG+ condition.