The Little Sparta Trust is delighted to announce the formation of a partnership with Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh College of Art which will allow post-graduate students to use the garden and its artworks as part of a range of courses, including art, literature and landscape architecture. Thanks to a grant from the university, half of Ian Hamilton Finlay's house has been converted into a study centre, where we hope that future generations of students and art-lovers can learn more about Finlay's ideas, and his enormous influence on modern art.
In August 2014, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop, visited the garden, to see it for the first time and to hear more about our plans. She professed herself delighted with the garden, which she toured in typical Little Sparta weather: bright sun interspersed with showers. Her speech paid tribute to Finlay's importance to Scottish art, and acknowledged the garden as one of Scotland's most cherished cultural treasures. She thanked the Trust for maintaining the garden to its current high standards.
The plans, announced to an audience including the Director of the National Galleries of Scotland, Sir John Leighton, Janet Archer, head of Creative Scotland, and Professor Chris Breward, Principal of the Edinburgh College of Art, included a project to acquire the house at Little Sparta currently owned by Pia Simig, Ian Hamilton Finlay's assistant and executor. This includes the Temple of Apollo. We will embark on this ambitious plan in partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland.
Ownership of this last property, not currently belonging to the Trust, would allow us to open a small gallery, as well as using the accommodation for an artist in residence.
Watch this space... .