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Little Sparta

This touring exhibition and book are the product of a long-term engagement with the relationship between visual and oral histories. The exhibition originated at the NewArtCentre, Roche Court, Wiltshire UK, Vacant Possession 9 February – 31 March 2013, toured to the Fleming Collection London UK, Eileen Hogan at Little Sparta 10 June – 25 August 2013 (sponsored by Richards & Partner Consulting), and a selection will be exhibited at the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) USA (Artists’ Books and the Natural World 15 May – 10 August 2014). The exhibitions consisted of paintings, drawings, prints and sketchbooks made between 2000 in 2013, of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s garden Little Sparta and portraits of Hamilton Finlay made during his lifetime and posthumously. Works in YCBA exhibition will be selected primarily from the Center’s collections, with loans of key historic works from other Yale collections, including the University Art Gallery, the Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Hogan has been invited to be one of the featured contemporary artists who have responded to specific historic works and places.

The Fleming Wyfold Art Foundation published the fully illustrated book, which includes essays by Professors Frances Spalding and Mel Gooding, an interview with Hogan by Dr. Hester Westley and extracts from a life story recording with Ralph Irving, the gardener who worked closely with Hamilton Finlay for over twenty years.

NY Times Review

“Ms. Hogan has returned to Little Sparta time and again since then to make hundreds of drawings and paintings. Out of these have come a superb series of monumental paintings of a cherry grove with three large beehives. The beehives were not built by Mr. Finlay himself but are found objects, each decorated with appropriately resonant names and the registration numbers of three old Scottish fishing boats: Bountiful UL 238, Sweet Promise FH 172 and Golden Gain FR 59…”

From Conway Morris, R. (2013) British Artist Explores Poetry of Light in Enclosed Spaces, International Herald Tribune & the NY Times