Ian Hamilton Finlay at the Serpentine

Where: Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park

What: Permanent commission by the Scottish poet and artist Ian Hamilton Finlay, comprising  eight benches, a tree-plaque, and a large, complex inscription at the Gallery’s entrance.

Artists: Ian Hamilton Finlay

Date: 1996?


(The names of trees and a quotation by the philosopher Francis Hutcheson, 1725)

“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.”

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