28 Nov WILDFLOWER. VASE. 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.