Ian Hamilton Finlay Permanent Commission

Ian Hamilton Finlay Permanent Commission

On the grounds of the Gallery is a permanent commission by the Scottish poet and artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. The work comprises eight benches, a tree-plaque, and a large, complex inscription at the Gallery’s entrance.

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 Each element of the work is inscribed with pastoral poetry. The paved slate entrance circle contains the names of trees found in Kensington Gardens and a quotation by the philosopher Francis Hutcheson, 1725. At the centre is a dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, who was the Serpentine Gallery’s Patron from 1993 to 1996.  Below is a full transcription of the artwork’s text.

“Small leaved Lime, Ulmus Glabra, Wych Elm, Fagus Sylvatica, Pendua,
Weeping Beech, Alnus Glutinosa, Alder, Populus Alba, White Poplar, Tilia Cordata
Aesculus Hippocastanum, Horse Chestnut, Ilex Aquifolium, Holly, Ulmus Procera, Elm, Populus Tremula, Aspen, Quercus Coccinea, Scarlet Oak,
Copper Beech, Sorbis Aucuparia, Mountain Ash, Quercus Ilex, Holm Oak, Populus X Canescens, Grey Poplar, Fagus Sylvatica, Purpurea
Quercus Petraea, Sessile Oak, Populus Nigra, Black Poplar, Acer Pseudoplatanus, Sycamore, Carpinus Betulus, Hornbeam
Taxus Baccata, Yew, Tilia X Europaea, Lime, Castanea Sativa, Sweet Chestnut, Platanus X Hispanica, London Plane, Taxus Baccata, Yew,
Fagus Sylvatica, Beech, Quercus Robur, Oak, Crataegus Monogyna, Hawthorn, Fraxinus, Excelsior, Ash

The beauty of trees, their cool shades, and their aptness to conceal from observation, have made groves and woods the usual retreat to those who love solitude especially to the religious, the pensive, the melancholy and the amorous

Diana Princess of Wales, Patron of The Serpentine Gallery. 1993. 1996”

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Ian Hamilton Finlay 1

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Ian Hamilton Finlay 2

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Ian Hamilton Finlay 3

Ian Hamilton Finlay