Catalogue No. 195

Artist: Hogan, Eileen
Ian Hamilton Finlay at Little Sparta


Collection Details
Purchased by the Faringdon Collection Trustees from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 2008.

Hogan first drew Ian Hamilton Finlay in 1997 and her last 'sitting' with him was in 2006.  He was not a conventional person and nor were her sittings.  She met him when she first visited Little Sparta, the huge outdoor artwork that he created in the Pentland landscape south of Edinburgh.  She accompanied an oral historian making a recording with Finlay for the British Library's Sound Archive.  Hogan worked in the garden for several hours before sitting outside the conservatory where the interview was taking place.  She could see the two figures through the glass and began to draw them.  This began a series of paintings of Little Sparta and Finlay.  Hogan's last 'sitting' with Finlay was in 2006 shortly before his death.  Hogan's response to Hamilton Finlay dovetails her interest in depicting a single figure in a personally resonant landscape with her absorption in the effects of age on the human face.  Since her first visit in 1997, the poet had suffered a series of illnesses and Hogan's penetrating and tender studies document the passage of eight years on a remarkable individual.  Larger paintings envelop Finlay in the extraordinarily self-expressive garden which he evolved over almost thirty years at Stonypath.