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Arnolfini - est 1961

A weekend of talks, film screenings, performances and readings around the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay.

With: Amor de Dias, Antonio Claudio Carvalho , Beatrice Gibson, Christian Flamm, Graham Rich, Harry Gilonis, Ian Hamilton Finlay, KRIWET, Karl Holmqvist, Kasia Fudakowski , OEI Magazine, Stephen Bann, Sue Tompkins , Tony Lopez, Victoria Bean

This two day event investigates the unique intersections between different contexts and approaches in Ian Hamilton Finlay’s work, such as concrete poetry and concept art, publishing and gardening. Besides a historical analysis, artists, writers and film makers will also share a view from a contemporary perspective. Contributions include talks by Stephen Bann and the editors of OEI magazine, films by Beatrice Gibson, a concert by Amor de Dias, and music by Christian Flamm.

Here, you can listen to two of the presentations. The first is a presentation by Stephen Bann, Senior Research Fellow at The University of Bristol, a close collaborator of Finlay who has written widely about his work. This talk focused particularly on Little Sparta, the artists’ garden in Stonypath Scotland, which is also the subject of a film produced by Bann in 1973.


The second is with Cecilia Grönberg and Jonas (J) Magnusson, editors of Swedish magazine OEI, talked about their publication and their interest in the history of modern poetry, particularly Brazilian concrete poetry and their European contemporaries, among them Finlay.

You can also download a Harry Gilonis’ presentation here, which he gave while walking round the ground of St George’s, Bristol, talking about the works by Finlay which were installed there in 2002. These works were the artists’ last UK public commission.

Friday 30 August

6pm Graham Rich: A Visual Correspondence, talk

6.45pm Beatrice Gibson: The Tiger’s Mind, film screening and in conversation

7.30pm Benefit Auction to support Little Sparta, auctioneer: George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

8.30pm Amor de Dias, concert

10pm Christian Flamm, DJ set (café bar)

Saturday 31 August

12 noon Stephen Bann, film screening and talk

1.30pm Sue Tompkins: My Dataday, audio work

2pm Harry Gilonis Exhibition tour to St George’s

3.30pm Ian Hamilton FinlayCarrier Strike! (1977), projection

4pm OEI Magazine, talk

5pm KRIWET: Apollovision (1969), Campaign (1972–73), TV-Take (1968), Teletext (1967), film screening

6pm Karl Holmqvist: A is for A=R=A=K=A=W=A (2012), film screening

7pm Kasia Fudakowski: Where is your alibi, Mr. Motorway?, performance

7.30pm Ends

Along with the scheduled presentations, work by Victoria Bean, Antonio Claudio Carvalho and Tony Lopez will also be presented. A selection of publications and printed work will be on view.

Programme notes are available here.

Benefit Auction 

Friday 30 August, 7.30pm, free

The three model boats on view in the exhibition will be auctioned to benefit and support the estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay and to help maintain Finlay’s garden Little Sparta in Stonypath, Scotland. The auctioneer will be George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol. 

The three model boats are from the estate of Finlay. They are not artworks, but were owned by the artist who used them in exhibitions juxtaposed with his own work (such as the boat in the “Sailing Dinghy” (1996), which is in the Artists Rooms collection), in a similar way to his use of text with found images or illustrations.