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Colin Glen's work 'Ian Hamilton Finlay as The Hyperborean Apollo'

July 10, 2012 by Kay

We currently have some of Colin Glen's etchings Ian Hamilton Finlay as The Hyperborean Apollo available through Other Criteria. To view this and Glen's other work with Other Criteria, click here.

This work is available to view until August by contacting Colin Glen directly on

"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."

Colin Glen

For more information, visit Colin Glen's website.