29 June 2010


Ian Hamilton Finlay/Peter Coates


Brazier with lettered Catcastle

Basel, Switzerland

28 June 2010


Ian Hamilton Finlay/Peter Coates

Paved entrance circle, commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery, London, as part of the refurbishment of the gallery and grounds, 1997. The inscription contains the names of trees found in Kensington Gardens and a quotation by the philosopher Francis Hutcheson, 1725.


Ian Hamilton Finlay/Peter Coates

3 Columns

Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona 1999

Ian Hamilton Finlay/Peter Coates

"L'Ombra Medita Sulla Luce -
Shadows Muse On Light"

Fleur de L'Air, Provence, France, 2002

27 June 2010


Two views of Ian Hamilton Finlay's "The Present Order," commissioned by Barcelona City Council with support from the British Council. Made of Montjuic Sandstone and sited above Parc Guell, the inscription in Catalan translates as "The Present Order is the Disorder of the Future--Saint-Just."

26 June 2010


From 1994, Coates worked closely with the Scottish poet and artist Ian Hamilton Finlay--particularly on Little Sparta, Finlay's garden estate in the Pentland Hills, south of Edinburgh. Our next series of posts will feature Coates's work with IHF for a wide range of commissions, public and private, in the United Kingdom and on the Continent.


The Hofvijver, The Hague, Netherlands

25 June 2010


This week we are pleased to feature the work of Peter Coates. His formal training in stonemasonry, carving and architectural sculpture introduced him to letter carving, letter design and inscriptional composition. Subsequent long-term collaboration with Ian Hamilton Finlay has involved a great deal of lettering rendered in a wide variety of forms, materials and locations. Dealing with the visual nature of text rather than the content has led to an interest in the abstract possibilities of text.

We begin with the Textus project, the result of a collaboration with Paul Emery marking the 800th anniversary of the Leeds Charter. The text served as the vehicle for a computer-generated animation which was projected onto the Lifting Tower in 2007. Stills from the series can be purchased from http://textus.zenfolio.com.

17 June 2010