Alec Finlay

Alec Finlay
Studio Alec Finlay


Alec Finlay is an artist and poet whose work crosses over a range of media and forms, from poetry, sculpture, and collage, to audio-visual, neon, and new technology. Born in Scotland in 1966, much of Finlay’s work reflects on human interaction with nature and considers how we as a culture, or cultures, relate to landscape and ecology. Finlay describes much of his work as ‘microtonal’, combining a family of elements within a wide field. He has worked extensively with innovative poetic forms such as the mesostic, embedded-poem, and circle-poem. In 2010 Finlay was shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize, and in 2012 for the Artistic Landmarks in Contemporary Experience (ALICE) Awards. Finlay blogs regularly at


In 2011 Finlay created a new civic grove for Victoria Gardens, Leeds, combining four interrelated works on the theme of the city and pastoral. Among them, four nest-boxes were installed in Red Oak trees each bear one word arranged in a 4×4 grid: ‘S/I/N/G  W/I/L/D  K/I/N/D  W/O/O/D’. The phrase echoes a line from one of John Berryman’s Dream Songs. Each nest-box is colour-specified to match the host species’ leaf.

In 2012 Modern Empire published a limited edition print suite of the work, printed by Jack Lowe on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, 265x265mm (x4), edition of 12.