In October 2005, writer/sculptor/artist Ian Hamilton Finlay is 80. Poet Edwin Morgan and sculptor George Wyllie reached that decade some time ago. Continuing to create work of outstanding lucidity, these three prolific men, from their different corners of the art map and with creative voices honed over years of practice, inform and inspire new generations. From the lush tranquil beauty of Little Sparta, his garden on a Lanarkshire hillside, Finaly is preparing to exhibit at the Ingleby Gallery and Inverleith House in the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, this summer. Wyllie takes a Cosmic Voyage to the Collins Gallery in Glasgow in August and Edwin Morgan, the ‘Scots Makar’, adds new poems with star spark, to his sixty year constellation—MAP is honoured to have one specially written for this issue for Ian Hamilton Finlay’s birthday. Having spent lifetimes exploring the contours of their lives, these artists now have a map of work which takes them from youth, to first success, to established figure, to guru and remind us that ‘contemporary’ means now.
On the other side of the mountain from these ‘contemporaries’, Nigel Peake, the young artist/architect introduced in MAP Portfolio, is just about to embark on his career with a visionary package on board, manifested in the thousands of sketches he’s already made. Lotte Glob, who has chosen to live on the edge of the country among the mountains, literally melts rock into artforms: once rejected by the metropolis, she offers work back to the land that has inspired her has become her studio and gallery.
Close to the passion for life and nature that all of the above artists share, an open source computer game designed by artists Chad McCail and Simon Yuill gives us all the opportunity to vandalise the society we have, for the good. Experimenting gamers can ban school, fill the rivers with fish and create their own utopias, manipulating the spring_alpha map to discover their own creative solutions to modern life. Offering a window of opportunity, McCail and Yuill take ‘contemporary’ into the future.