University of California, San Diego
March 30, 2006
ALL ACADEMICS AND STAFF AT UCSD (including UCSD healthcare)
ALL STUDENTS AT UCSD
Dear Colleagues and Friends:
We at the Stuart Collection are deeply saddened by the death of artist Ian Hamilton Finlay whose work included sculpture, poetry and philosophy. He is best known for “Little Sparta”, a farm and garden in the Southern Uplands of Scotland, which he began transforming into a neoclassical sculpture park in 1966.
Although he is now better known as a sculptor than as a writer, the power of language remains central to Finlay’s work. For UCSD he created a one-word poem installed in 1987 at one edge of Marshall Field. UNDA consists of five limestone blocks into which are carved, in various sequences, the letters U N D A, and a wave-shaped mark that is the editor’s notation for “transpose these letters.” In the course of the multipart sculpture, the wave sign rolls through UNDA, the Latin word for wave, while the tops of the stones are aligned with the distant horizon of ocean. A literary cycle is identified with the cycle of the natural wave, an association that the artist related to the velocity and flow of language.
UNDA was Finlay’s first permanent outdoor sculpture in the United States and is an important part of the Stuart Collection.
Links to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times obituaries follow:
Stuart Collection brochures with maps for a self-guided tour are available at the Geisel Library Information Desk, EDNA and the Faculty Club.