"The portrait was made from a photograph taken by my father of Finlay at his garden in Scotland in the months before the poet's death. The two had been become re-acquainted having collaborated in the late 1960's on the printing of Finlay's poem-booklets. I was captivated by the far-seeing look in Finlay's eyes as he looks out towards the Pentland hills that surround his garden. It reminded me of the writing of another of Finlay's collaborators, Stephen Bann, whose research into nineteenth century practices of reproduction of artwork I refer to in my drawing process. The curved hatching lines that incrementally accrue to give a sense of Finlay's face emerging from the blankness of the paper echo the scored marks made by a traditional engraver's tool. The significance of making a drawing specifically for print from a snapshot photograph illustrates Bann's discovery that many artworks by Delaroche or Ingres for instance, were made for the purposes of reproduction, as templates for the skill of the engraver. The artist would often acknowledge that the final print surpassed the original painting. The title refers to Bann and Finlay's connection with the writer Walter Pater who mused on the possibility of the mediterranean God Apollo visiting the chillier climes of Northern Europe. For me this image of Finlay betrays the determination and forcefulness of his nature hidden so often behind the shyness of a hooded gaze."
Born in Edinburgh in 1968, Colin lives and works in Stroud, Gloucestershire with his four children. On completing his BA in Art and Art History at Goldsmiths College, University of London, he returned to Gloucestershire to focus on making drawings in the landscape. He achieved an MA in Art History at Birkbeck College, University of London in 2001 and has held the position of studio assistant to Damien Hirst from 1998-2004 and 2010-2011.
He writes for Art monthly and a-n magazines as well as producing essays on Rachel Howard, Rob and Nick Carter and Oliver Marsden. He has exhibited regularly at SVA in Stroud and also shown at Trolley Gallery and the Forest of Dean Sculpture Park in 2009, JGM Galerie Paris in 2008, and Bankley Studios in 2006 - and has work in the Murderme and Groucho Club collections. He is a trustee of SVA and is currently completing a research degree at the University of Bristol. He is showing work with TJ Boulting, the gallery arm of Trolley Books, in the near future.