Ian Hamilton Finlay Sea / Land Sundial 1970

Artwork details

Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925–2006
Sea / Land Sundial
Date 1970
Medium Glass on wooden base
Dimensions Object: 335 x 307 x 75 mm, 1.2 kg
Acquisition Bequeathed by David Brown in memory of Mrs Liza Brown 2003
Not on display

Display caption

Ian Hamilton Finlay’s poetry moved in the early 1960s from a solely literary form to a kinetic or concrete one expressed in stone, wood, neon and other materials. This glass poem sundial suggests the shape of a sail, moving through the sea yet in sight of the land. The sun is a way of measuring time as well as fixing a position in space.

A steel rod projects from the glass to act as the sundial’s pointer, casting a shadow to the number twelve, which is 10˚ East of South, as etched in the glass.

February 2010