biography

Alec Finlay (Scotland, 1966) is an internationally-recognised artist and poet whose work crosses over a range of media and forms. Much of Finlay's work considers how we as a culture, or cultures, relate to landscape and ecology. Through permanent and temporary interventions, integrative web-based projects, and publications, Finlay weaves together generous experiential works, often collaborative, sometimes mapped directly onto the landscape, embedded socially or accessed online. Recently Finlay's work has focussed on place-awareness and ecopoetics.
Selected Solo Exhibitions and Commissions
 

2018

Question & Answers (after Paul Celan), permanent public artwork, Southwark Park, commissioned by CGP Gallery

2018

Retrospective, Arizona Poetry Centre
 

2017 - 2018

a far-off land, artwork, publication, for Macmillan Cancer Support
 

2017

th’ fleety wud, artwork, publication, comm by CABN, Scottish Borders Heritage Festival

 

2017

minnmouth, artwork, publication, funded by North Light Arts and FVU

 

2016 -2017

From Creag a’ Mhadaidh to Abhainn Choilltidh, public events, artworks, blog, publication, commissioned by Trees for Life and Common Ground
2016 A Variety of Cultures, permanent public artwork, publication, comm. by Jupiter Artland

 

2015 - 2018

Gathering, artworks and publication, commissioned by Hauser & Wirth for Fife Arms Hotel / Invercauld Estate, Braemar


2014

there were our own / there were the others, book and memorial walk, commissioned by National Trust

2014

Taigh, National memorial for organ donors, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, commissioned by Scottish Government

 

2014

a-ga: on mountains, exhibition, sleeper gallery, Edinburgh


2014

100 flowers, permanent artwork, commissioned by New South Glasgow Hospitals

 

2014

wallflowers, permanent artwork and publication, Callendar House, Falkirk, commissioned by the Falkirk Community Trust


2014

Some Colour Trends, walks and publication, commissioned by Deveron Arts


2014

Global Oracle, permanent artwork, publication, audio, in collaboration with Chris Watson, commissioned by The University of Warwick


2013

Sweeney’s Bothy, permanent dwelling, in collaboration with The Bothy Project, funded by Creative Scotland


2013

The Bee Bole, multi-venue sculptural installations, artist blog, funded by ACE

 

2013

comhlan bheanntan | a company of mountains, artist blog & publication,

commissioned by ATLAS Arts, Skye


2013

Vocable Orchard, animation, print & exhibition, comm. by Film & Video Umbrella

 

2013

today today today, animation, artist blog, booklet, embroidery, commissioned by Animate Projects


2013

Out of Books, walk, sculpture, artist blog, with Ken Cockburn, funded by NALD

 

2013

Duke’s Wood (bower construction, embroidery, blog), commissioned by Ordinary Culture

 

2013

I Hear Her Cry, sculpture & publication, private commission, Boston, NY


2012

Swarm (ASX), sculpture & artist blog, commissioned by 18th Biennale of Sydney

 

2012

The Bee Library, public artwork, Yorkshire Sculpture Park


2011

birdsong & the city’s a stonebook & SING/WILD/KIND/WOOD (permanent public

artworks, web-audio work, print edition), Victoria Gardens, Leeds


2010

The Road North (public artwork, website, print, audio & exhibition) with Ken Cockburn

 

2010 Walking Within Langais Wood (permanent public artwork & word-map print), Langass, North Uist


2010

sky-wheels & Sky Colour Wheel, exhibition, commissioned by AV Festival 10, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

 

2010

white peak / dark peak, walk, artist blog and publication, Derbyshire Arts

Development Group, Peak District National Park

2010

Rosary (poem garden), Castle Park Arts Centre, Frodsham


2009

Home to a king (3) (public artwork & field-guide), Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Durham University Botanic Garden; Springburn Park (Glasgow); St Andrews Botanic Garden (St Andrews); George Square Gardens (Edinburgh); Montgomery Street Gardens (Edinburgh); Castle Park Arts Centre (Frodsham); Cove Park (Kilcreggan).

2009

Mesostic Interleaved (public artwork & publication), Edinburgh University Library


2008

Noses Point: Coastal Walk (public art & field-guide), Seaham, County Durham


2007-8

Specimen Colony, permanent sculpture and publication, comm. by The Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool


2007

Three Estates Renga (public artwork & publication with Gavin Wade), Birmingham

 

2007

Floating Island Garden (1) (artist residency & word-map), Northumbria Coast AONB

 

2005

Avant-Garde English Landscape, residency, exhibition & permanent artwork, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton


2005
Woodland Platform, permanent artwork, the hidden gardens, Tramway, Glasgow

Selected two-person and group Exhibitions

2018

HUTOPIA, Machines a Penser, Prada Foundation, Venice Architecture Biennale

 

2018

Common Ground, Yorkshire Sculpture Park


2018

wild city | fiadh-bhaile, with The Walking Library, for Festival 2018


2017

broken flowers, Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, North Uist

2017

FLOERS, with Hannah Imlach, Dunbar Town House Gallery, Dunbar
 

2017

Somewhere Becoming Sea, Hull City of Culture, Humber Street Gallery, Hull

 

2016

MOUNTAIN LINE / RYOSEN, Botao Gallery, Nagoya, Japan


2016

SALT Festival, Folkestone


2015

The Shock of Victory, CCA, Glasgow


2015

Love Letters to a (Post)-Europe, performance of a better tale to tell, BIOS, Athens

 

2015

Material Concerns, LifeSpace, University of Dundee


2014

GENERATION, Edinburgh International Art Festival, Talbot Rice Gallery


2014

Wordsworth & Basho: Walking Poets, Dove Cottage


2014

Art Lending Library (II), Market Gallery, Glasgow


2014

Walk on, various locations (Art Circuit, London)


2014

A Particular Kind of Solitude (Elizabeth Street Garden, New York)
2013 The Road North: with Ken Cockburn, at Walk On (Art Circuit), Pitshanger
Gallery, London, touring to NGCA (Sunderland), Mac (Birmingham), the Atkinson (Southport), and Plymouth City Art Gallery


2013

‘distant mountains are blue’, Walking Encyclopedia, airspace gallery, Stoke on Trent


2010

Northern Art Prize 2010, shortlisted artists’ exhibition, Leeds Art Gallery


2010

Eundan : Aviary, An Lanntair, Stornoway


2008

Specimen Colony, The Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool


2007

The Printed Path: Landscape, Walking and Recollection, Tate Britain, London


2007

Waterlog, Castle Museum & Art Gallery and Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (Norwich), touring to The Collection (Lincoln)


2005 - 2006

Ball Im Kopf, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Hamburg

2003 - 2004

Outside of a Dog: Artists’ Books, BALTIC, Gateshead


2002

Labanotation, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

Selected Artist Residencies

2017

John Muir Trust Residency, North Light Arts, Dunbar


2016 - 2017

University of Aberdeen, gathering, Leverhulme Trust


2015 - 2017

Fife Arms Hotel / Invercauld Estate, Braemar, Hauser & Wirth


2013

The Bee Bole (research and on-campus artworks), University of Stirling, funded by Leverhulme Trust
 

2013

Outlandia, Glen Nevis (July 2013)


2011 - 2012

Skying (Art & Renewable Energy Project) University of Northumbria,

Newcastle, funded by Leverhulme Trust


2008 - 2009

RHS Gardens, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall, Wisley, Rosemoor


2007 - 2009

New and Renewable Energy Centre, Blyth, Northumberland


2007

Kielder Partnership, Kielder Observatory, Kielder
 

2006

Killhope Leadmining Museum, Killhope, North Pennines
 

2005 - 2007

Science Learning Centre North East, Durham
 

2004 - 2005

Creative Partnerships Artist for eight schools in the Durham-Sunderland region 2003-05 Yorkshire Sculpture Park


2002 - 2003

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Selected Recent Awards
 

2018

Scottish Design Award, Winner Best Graphic Publication, for a far-off land

 

2016

Shortlisted Artist, Land Art Generator Initiative, Glasgow


2015

Scottish Design Award (Best Publication and Grand Prix Award) for

there were our own / there were the others

2011

Finalist, Artistic Landmarks In Contemporary Experience (ALICE) Awards

2010

Shortlisted Artist, The Northern Art Prize, 2010


2007

String of Pearls, Dysart Artworks, Winner best work of art in the public realm, Scottish Design Awards


2007

Northern Canon first major North-East Art Commission Award


2006

Northern Rock Three Year Sustainability Award


2006

First International Edible Art Award, ‘Isles and Lakes’ (Biscuit patterns)


2000

Scottish Design Awards (Best Typography, Best Book; Chairman’s Award) for pocketbooks series

Selected Recent Publications
 

2018

wild city (published by morning star)

2018

gathering (published by Hauser & Wirth)


2018

Machines á Penser (published by Prada Foundation)


2017

a far-off land (published by morning star)
 

2017

minnmouth (published by morning star, North Light Arts)


2016

A Variety of Cultures (published by Jupiter Artland)


2016

Arboreal: A collection of new woodland writing, ed. Adrian Cooper (Little Toller Books)

 

2016

‘The Difference’, and ‘In Randomania, Joiny-Uppy-Land, and the Lands of the Free and Un-free, We Used to Say’, Gymnasium, edited by Ruth Ewan, Annika Eriksson and Raqs Media Collective (Site Gallery)


2015

ebban an’ flowan, with Laura Watts and Alister Peebles (published by morning star)

 

2015

I Hear Her Cry (published by Ingleby Gallery)


2015

A better tale to tell: submissions to The Smith Commission (published by CCA Glasgow, National Library of Scotland, Saltire Society, Scottish Poetry Library)
 

2015

Some flowers among the ruins (published by Callender Park)


2014

Some Colour Trends (published by Deveron Arts)


2014

there were our own / there were the others (commissioned by National Trust, England & Wales) 2014 The Road North, with Ken Cockburn (Shearsman)


2014

Taigh: a wilding garden (morning star & Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, commissioned by the Scottish Government)


2014

Global Oracle (University of Warwick Art Collection)


2014

Sweeney on Eigg (Corbell Stone Press)


2014

a-ga: on mountains (morning star & University of Sunderland)


2014

Seeding the John Muir Way (commissioned by UZ Arts)


2014

‘Glenelg’, ‘The Singing Sands’, ‘What is a mountain?’, from The Road North,

Shearsman 99 & 100, April 2014


2014

‘Islands’, Transnational Literature Vol. 7 no. 1 (November 2014)


2013

thorns (sine wave peak) commissioned by the Centre for Artist Books


2013 a company of mountains (morning star)


2013

today today today (Playspace Publications)


2013

‘three walks,’ The Art of Walking (Black Dog)


2012

Be My Reader (Shearsman Books)


2012

Ian Hamilton Finlay: Selections, ed. (University of California Press)


2011

‘W-I-L-D-H-A-W-T-H-O-R-N-P-R-E-S-S’, The Present Order: Writings on the Work of Ian Hamilton Finlay (Marfa Books)


2010

white peak / dark peak, morning star & re:place


2010

‘Towers That Flower’, Cultural Politics Journal (vol. 6) 2009 ‘Dictionary of Imagined Flowers’, Sunfish (Winter, no. 1)

 

2009

Mesostic Interleaved (The University of Edinburgh Press)

 

2009

Says You (Oysetercatcher Press)


2009

Mesostic Remedy, (morning star publications)

Selected Reviews

2018

Scots Radio, 3 December 2018

 

2017

Tarbuck, A & Kotva S 2017, ‘The Non-Secular Pilgrimage: Walking and Looking in Ken Cockburn and Alec Finlay’s The Road North’, Critical Survey, Vol 29 No 1, Spring

 

2016

Liprot A 2016, ‘Island books: ebban an’ flowan’, The Island Review 20 January           

 

2015

Paterson K 2015, ‘Creating art out of the indyref’, The National 19th September

 

Vision of Scotland’: Poet publishes opus based on submissions to Smith Commission’ RT UK 18 September 2015

 

Green C 2015, ‘Scottish poet crafts epic poem from ordinary Scots' requests for devolved powers to Holyrood’, The Independent 9th September

 

Smith S 2015, ‘The Shock of Victory: Work from international artists looking at political struggle and imagining victory’, The List 3rd September

 

Brown A 2015, ‘Effacing the Ego’ Stride Magazine March 2015

 

Brown A 2015, Review of The Road North by Ken Cockburn & Alec Finlay, Scottish Pen

‘Review’, TLS, January 2015

 

Croggan A 2015, Review: Ian Hamilton Finlay by Alec Finlay, Oyster Boy Review, Fall 2015

2014

The Walking Encyclopaedia – DAY NINE – something new from Alec Finlay’ AirSpace Gallery 5th February 2014

2013

MacRitchie K 2013, ‘A book is performance: Exhibition of Artists’ Books at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art’ PINSO 29 April

 

Williamson C 2013, Review of TodayTodayToday, Playspace Publications, 6 May

2012

Staff H 2012, ‘The Generative, the Lyric, and Wittgenstein's Norway: Alec Finlay's Be My Reader’, Poetry Foundation, 31 October 
 

Williams T 2012, Blog Review 15: Tony Williams Reviews Alec Finlay’s ‘Be My Reader’, Magma Poetry, October 30 2012

 

 

Yeung H 2012, ‘Fragmented Inheritence’ PN Review 208 Volume 39 Number 2 November – December

 

Strang E 2012, ‘Em Strang reviews new poetry pamphlets by Angela McSeveney, Donald Mackay and Alec Finlay’, Scottish Review of Books 7 November 2012

 

Sutczak P 2012, ‘Swarm (ASX) & The bee library’ Write Response 27th August 2012

2009

Artists lead the way as festival prepares to bring in the crowds’, Derby Telegraph 11 September

2008

Mlechevska V 2008, ‘Thoughts Within Thoughts’, KulturaIssue 25 (2008) 3 July

2005

Sam S, ‘THERE WHERE YOU ARE NOT’, MAP #3 Autumn 2005 August

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