Ian Hamilton Finlay
Topiary Aircraft Carrier [collaboration with Ian Gardner] 1972

Artwork details

Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925–2006
Topiary Aircraft Carrier [collaboration with Ian Gardner]
Date 1972
Medium Screenprint on paper
Dimensions Image: 305 x 438 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1981
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

The relationship between warfare and the apparently idyllic retreat of the garden is explored in this print, which shows a hedge elegantly cut to resemble a warship. Finlay went on to grow an actual topiary aircraft carrier in his garden at Stonypath, Scotland. The garden, which also includes numerous sculptures and poems inscribed on stone is regarded as Finlay’s most significant work. Many of the sculptures relate to the technology of war. As Finlay has said, ‘Certain gardens are described as retreats when they are really attacks’.

April 2005

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