As part of the its Festival 2009 programme, Edinburgh College of Art
will present an exhibition of paintings, paper reliefs and photographs based on the the 16 year engagement by the artist Janet Boulton with Ian Hamilton Finlay's garden at Little Sparta.
An artist of international acclaim, Janet Boulton specialises in watercolour and paper relief works. While she was Artist in Residence at Edinburgh College of Art in 2006-07, she began work on Remembering Little Sparta, a collection of over 120 paintings, paper reliefs and photographs reflecting on her experience of working for such a prolonged period at Finlays garden set in the Pentland Hills.
An illustrated catalogue with texts by acknowledged authorities on Ian Hamilton Finlays work - Jessie Sheeler, Dr Patrick Eyres and Harry Gilonis - serve as an introduction to the four main categories of Remembering Little Sparta: The Landscape Garden (with a section devoted to the Roman Garden), Interiors (Temple to Apollo and the Boat Window Series), Toys, Models and Maquettes (a little known aspect of Finlays prodigious output including works made in the early 1960's) and finally photographs of the Janet Boultons own garden at Abingdon Oxfordshire (demonstrating the influence of Ian Hamilton Finlays work in a small urban setting).
In addition to this extensive collection of works by Janet Boulton, Remembering Little Sparta will include an installation of model boats from the collection of Ian Hamilton Finlay, lent by the estate alongside memorabilia documenting Janets collaborations with Finlay over the years.
The exhibition, each section being accompanied by explanatory wall texts, dispels the popular myth that the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay is obscure and only for the cogniscenti. It illustrates his love of the ordinary and at the same time shows how he can inspire another artist.
On this, Janet Boulton comments: Studying Ian Hamilton Finlays work and meeting many of his circle of friends and collaborators has greatly enriched my life and practise as an artist, not least in widening my understanding of the importance of our classical heritage as a continuing source of renewal and inspiration.
Remembering Little Sparta is staged as part of Edinburgh College of Arts Festival programme which also includes Milestone (1- 30 August), a live stone carving event with accompanying exhibition, the Postgraduate Degree Show (15 30 August) and a host of theatre and comedy events in the Sweet Fringe Festival programme which uses the College campus as one its venues.