July 1997

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1997
14.8 x 10.5cm, 2pp, card printed with a drawing by Ron Costley of the front of a boat that is labelled PROEM. The word is similar to POEM and PROW: and there is a stylish beauty to the shape of the front of the ship. However there are other references here to the term "Proem" - firstly to that term invented by El Lissitzky used to refer to his constructivist style based on Malevich's supremacism - and the other meaning - a preface or preamble to a book or speech (the prow being the foremost part of the ship - a physical preamble). The title hence refers all of these different simultaneous meanings. VG+.

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Edinburgh: Morning Star, 1997
14 x 10.5cm, blue card slipcase content of a 13.5 x 10cm, 28pp plus boards. Artist's book consisting of a number of contributions by Finlay, Harry Gilonis, Jackson Mac Low, Ian Stephen, Graham Rich, Haans Waanders, Simon Cutts, Thomas A. Clark, Pavel Buchler, David Bellingham, Richard Tuttle, Zoe Irvine, Alex Finlay, Simon Patterson, and Lawrence Weiner as well as others. One of only 200 printed. VG+.

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Dundee: Transcript Magazine, n.d. (1997?)
26.5 x 21cm, 90pp plus wrappers, Single number of this journal with a lengthy interview with Ian Hamilton Finlay and b/w photographs of Little Sparta with "camptions (sic!) by Finlay which are insightful. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1997
12.1 x 18cm, 2pp artist's card with a sepia tinted vintage appropriated photograph of two river boats with the sails photo-modified by Gary HIncks to be black squares (seen at an angle). 2 Squares was a children’s book by the Russian artist El Lissitzky which is regarded as a development of Supremacism (following Malevich's Black Square) which the latter called the "Proun". Hence this image is a visual poem representing the half-way house between the Supremacist and the Constructavist. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1997
12.9 x 20.9cm, 2pp artist's card with a sepia tinted photograph by Robin Gillanders.The image is of a shelf of model boats made by Finlay - the boats are all placed facing a single direction - making the collection look like a fleet. Boatshelf being a neologism that is similar to bookshelf. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1997
8 x 16cm, 2pp artist's card with typography by Michael Harvey printed green and lime on white card. The poem reads

GROVE.
FLYING-JIB OR OUTE-JIB. MAIN-STAYSAIL JIB. MAIN-TRYSAL. FORE-STAYSAIL MIZEN-STAYSAIL. FORE-TRYSAIL JIB-HEADED SPANKER

The ship is described by its various masts and sails - the verticality of which reminds Finlay of a grove of trees. The bring colour of the card also evokes vegetation. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1997
11.3 x 7.6cm, 4pp artist's card with a drawing of a ship by Gary Hincks printed black on blue. Inside the folded card is a poem by Finlay:

PORTMADOC NAMES.

of fathers
mothers
owners
aunties
ships

Finlay notes the tradition in Pormadoc of naming boats after relatives - and in the final line of the work he equates the ships to being as much alive as the characters they are named after. VG+.

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Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1997
9.5 x 5.7cm, 4pp artist's card with a drawing of coiled boat ropes by Gary Hincks. Inside the folded card is a poem by Finlay:

BOAT LORE

Sails
are sails
but ropes
are
sheets
or stays.

On one level a simple explanation of boating terms (sailboat sheets are ropes or lines that are used to trim a sail), on another a deeper consideration of tautology and meaning. VG+.

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