Sunday, April 16, 2006


Recognise this (the sculpture, I mean, not the daft tourist)?

Sure you do - it's one of the artfully constructed 'ruins' that has marked the Ponsonby Rd entrance to Myers Park for about a decade now.

It's also unashamedly (well, I don't know the artist - perhaps he is ashamed? Perhaps he - why do I assume a he? - tosses and turns in his bed at night?) ripped off Ian Hamilton Finlay, the artful gardener, pioneering concrete poet, and ruin-builder who died last week in his native Scotland at the age of eighty-one. Here is Finlay's original, which is one of the numerous curious beauties to adorn Little Sparta, the garden he grew and built on the outskirts of Edinburgh:

Finlay began as a relatively conventional poet and short story writer, but achieved renown when he bgen producing concrete poems in the 1960s. The gardening and ruin-building came later. All of the work he produced from the '60s on managed simulataneously to be conceptually innovative and decorative in a somewhat old-fashioned way. His ouevre shows the influence of William Morris' wallpaper, as well as Marcel Duchamp's readymades.

You can read an interview with Finlay here.


Blogger t selwyn said...

The sculptures are in WESTERN PARK not Myers park - they were supposedly funded by one of Auckland's classier slumlords.

8:55 pm  
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