Dunsyre: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1968
56 x 43cm, 2pp. Green on blue on white paper – a circular design made up of fishing boat names typographically set by Alistair Cant on Finlay’s instruction. The pattern creates both a planet or the movement in the stars as they appear to spin around the boat as night passes. Stars for boats are essential to allow passage – until modern methods of navigation they were the sailor’s only orientation. The choice of the boat names chosen by Finlay reinforces that – all have the word STAR in them e.g. Morning Star, Day Star, Fortune Star and so on.
This is the second of two large prints with a similar intent – Sea Poppy 1 being in 1966 – the other uses the letters and numbers of the boats – here the attractive names people give their vessels are used instead.
The title Sea Poppy refers to the yellow hornpoppy which only grows on sea shores – again a clear nautical reference.
This design and others like it was used by Finlay in different formats including wall works, object multiples, printed posters and cards – but this printed version uses colours that are hard to see against each other – given the text is more readable in the other formats of this work it is tempting to suggest that the colour clash here was a mistake although some psychedelic designs of the late 60s did deliberately set up such colour clashes.

VG+ condition – very slight creases at the bottom right of the sheet else bright and with white margins.

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