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Talk and tour of the Ian Hamilton Finlay exhibition and the artist’s site specific commission at St. George’s Bristol by Stephen Bann, Senior Research Fellow at Bristol University.

Stephen Bann will give a talk about the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay, and lead a tour of the exhibition, including the works by Finlay in the grounds of St George’s, Bristol.

Stephen Bann was Professor of the History of Art at Bristol University from 2000 to 2008, and is currently a Senior Research Fellow. He first met Ian Hamilton Finlay in 1964, and over twenty years became (in the words of Finlay’s son Alec) his ‘preferred commentator’. His short film of 1973 is the first record in colour of the garden of Stonypath (later to be named ‘Little Sparta’). In 2011, he published an illustrated essay on Finlay’s first garden poems, installed in 1965 beside a farmhouse in Northern Scotland. He served as a trustee of Little Sparta between 1994 and 2013.

The free tours of our galleries are led by a member of staff or an invited guest – an artist, writer, or curator – and are a chance to hear the personal interpretations and insights of the tour leader, learn more about the work on show, and ask any questions you may have about the exhibition. All welcome.

Here, you can listen to another talk by Stephen Bann which was presented at Arnolfini as part of a weekend of talks, film screenings, performances and readings around the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay. 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.