About this artwork

Boats and the sea were central themes throughout Finlay’s career. 'Sailing Dinghy' comprises a clinker-built, sailing boat, which the artist himself sailed, installed alongside a short poem painted onto the wall. The dinghy’s bow, sails, rudder and stern are labelled with numbers referenced in the poem. The poem’s simple phrases evoke the power and movement of the vessel, encouraging the viewer to make a mental voyage from gallery to sea. The now static and landlocked vessel provides a contrast to this flight of imagination with its stillness and physical presence.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Sailing Dinghy
  • date created:
    1996
  • materials:
    Boat and painted wall text
  • measurements:
    602.00 x 440.00 x 140.00 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • accession number:
    AR00021
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Ian Hamilton Finlay

Ian Hamilton Finlay