November 1986

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1986
14 x 7 x 7cm, ceramic glazed vase in the shape of a classical column and a definition of the word WILDFLOWER in red and blue - "A MEAN TERM BETWEEN REVOLUTION AND VIRTUE." A wildflower is untamed and uncontrolled even when beautiful - here Finlay's definition places the idea of such a person as being "between revolution and virtue" which i the actual French uprising was not seen as incompatible. The word "mean" also is allowed two meanings - "an average" and "an unpleasant'. Together this work invites the viewer to consider the role of the individual within collective action and collective morality.
Sadly this vase was damaged by a member of the public when Paul Robertson's collection was exhibited in Summerhall, Edinburgh - there is a clean break all around the top of the cubic base - and the red and blue glazing is not as strong as it should have been. Finlay gave this vase to Herbert Winter the well-known gallerist in Wein from whence Robertson purchased it. Limitation of the edition is not known but probably not too many.


Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1987
14 x 18.4m, 1pp Artist's card with a b/w photograph of a field of sheep near Little Sparta by . Finlay writes underneath "The wine-dark sea, the turnip-marbled field" and "The Hyperborean Apollo of Walter Pater's Apollo in Picardy. In little Sparta he is identified with Saint-Just.". Greek mythology is mixed with Finlay's French revolutionary hero and the landscape which is a prosaic, rural version of Arcadia. VG+.


Cambridge: Kettle's Yard, 1986
21 x 15cm, 56pp. Original wrappers . An exhibition catalogue for a show of artist's books which included Christian Boltanski, Annette Messager, John Latham, Anslem Kiefer and Finlay amongst others. Short texts on each artist. This is more notable however for the bound in 14 x 8cm, 8pp original artist's book by Finlay (which was also published elsewhere by the Wild Hawthorn Press) - Two Billows - from 1980. The blue booklet has on one side of the centre pages the text: "greeness, leaf or bark: and on the other "greeness, leaf or barque" - this changes the image from a tree being blown around to that of a boat being pushed by the wind. We are placing this item in the Page Works & Contributions section but it could be equally be found in artist's books or exhibition catalogues. VG+.