Ian Hamilton Finlay

Beware of the Lark

About this artwork

This is one of several inscribed boulders by Finlay (he called them ‘wild stones’), and like much of his work it stands on the borderline between art and nature. Designed to sit on the ground in a garden like any normal stone, it therefore surprises the viewer with its inscribed message. It is one of several ‘notices’ made by the artist which have surreally humorous messages. The stone is dedicated to the French poet René Char (1907-88), whose work Finlay admired for conveying a sense of ‘a kind of frenzy in Nature, and a sense of danger.’ The inscription suggests similar values - Finlay explained: ‘I mean to suggest the way that larks rise from a hillside, with the suddenness of disturbed dogs...and this relates to a sense of joy and danger which recurs in Char’s poetry’.

Updated before 2020

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Ian Hamilton Finlay

Ian Hamilton Finlay