July 1995

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
10.5 x 15cm, 2pp, Artist's card with concrete poem drawn by Michael Harvey in orange and green. The words Purse and Seine are jumbled up the former words all on top, the latter below. The mass of the words comes to resemble the actual Purse Seine - a form of netting that is vertical and surrounds the fish - usually netting far more catch than more traditional formats. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
14.8 x 10.5cm, 1pp, Artist's card printed black on dark "gold". A quotation from the "Parmenides dialogue" where the divisibility of things is discussed is reprinted because of the use of the idea of a SAIL (the maritime imagery appealing to Finlay one presumes) and whether if it covers more than one man it is still a single thing. In the original a sail is compared to the sky - is the sky over everything or is just part of the sky covering the earth? VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
5.1 x 5.1cm, 8pp, concertina fold single sheet printed black on dark blue. The two notices are 1. PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE BOATS and 2. PLEASE DO NOT SINK THE FLOWERS.
The first was one of the earliest Finlay works that was found in Stoneypath (before the renaming to Little Sparta) next to the Backdoor Pond. The second is a proposal to be placed next to the Giant Victoria Water Lillies in the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh - such lilies do look as if they cannot be sunk. The humour in both "notices" being the misuse of the verbs. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
15.1 x 11cm, 2pp. A quote from Ovid of how a cottage was transformed by the Gods into a temple is set by John R Nash in an attractive typographic manner (with three different but similar fonts) and with the final lines "AND THE THATCH TO SHINING GOLD' printed in gold ink. The text is not an exact translation from the original but a reworking (itself a transformation).
Finlay is often attracted to Ovid's most famous texts and this description in many ways is also apposite to the creation of the Garden Temple in Little Sparta from an ordinary farm building. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1998
13.2 x 9.5cm, qpp card printed black on light blue. A quote from Goethe "Kennst du das Land, is in part translated by Finlay but with alterations (as in his Echoes series) - the land becomes the sea, the lemon trees become ships, flowers become orange net-floats and so on."...

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
10.3 x 10.3cm, 12pp plus typographic card covers. A b/w photograph by Robin Gillanders of wild flowers in the Picpus Cemetary where many of the guillotined dead during the last months of the Terror were buried in mass graves and a text by Finlay:

THREE WILD FLOWERS
Julie Boissard
Adelaide Lienard
Agathe Greaude

These are names of three of the women who were murdered during the Terror and buried in the cemetery. Finlay's suggestion that they be seen as wild flowers re-emerging from the ground is a beautiful memorial. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
13.5 x 9cm, 60pp plus black unprinted boards with red ribbon. A list of all the people murdered during the Terror and buried in the Picpus Cemetery in Paris. The cemetery was only five minutes from the Place de la Nation where the guillotine was set up so was used for the creation of mass graves where where the decapitated bodies were thrown in together without regard for social class.
Finlay has listed here the names of all those killed during 7 - 9 Messidor (the tenth month in the French Republican calendar) in the second year of the Terror (a period which is known as The Grand Terror as the numbers of those condemned rose very greatly before the downfall of Robespierre). These dates in the common calendar are Thursday 25 June 1795 to Saturday 27 June 1795.
By our count this consisted of 116 people of differing station and most noticeable is the number of young lives under 30. Of course the popular view of the Terror is that it was the nobility that were guillotined but that is not true - the majority were working and middle class people accused of anti-revolutionary views and actions.
The red ribbon is a nod to the line of red blood on a guillotined body (obviously it was not a line) and the use of such ribbons tied around a wrist as a memorial to those killed. The black unprinted board an obvious allusion to death.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
252 x 14.8cm, 28pp plus card covers and typographic dust jacket. A proposal in book form for the cladding and internal walls and glass of a German bank. The external works are all "definitions" such as:

AFFLUENCE n.
A SHORTAGE OF SACKCLOTH & ASHES.

which is ironic for a bank.
Internally wall paintings of "Evening will come they will sew the blue sail" and also "Wave/Rock" are found. The glass entrance doors have Star/Steer etched upon them.Text in English and German and all works photographed in b/w. The central seven images of the outer claddings open out as an accordion fold-out. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1995
14.5 x 10.5cm, 4pp. A drawing of the birds by Gary Hincks on the front of the folding card is matched by a poem internally:

The Stones of the Field are the Birds of the Air
peewits

Peewits or northern lapwings are ground breeders which lay their eggs in nests which they angrily defend. Hence the stones of the field hatch and fly. VG+.

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