George Finlay Ramsay — the man who threw a thousand regrets into a volcano and lived to tell the tale

George Finlay Ramsay, Book of Regrets: For Etna. Photo George Finlay Ramsay

This month George Finlay Ramsay receives his debut London solo show, , at SET Alscot Road, Bermondsey, London.

The eagerly-anticipated presentation, which opens on 27 October, is the culmination of a three-year project that pivots around the act of burning human regrets in volcanoes. It includes three films, a live sonic installation and a Volvo 240 estate car encased in a volcano proof suit.

Its genesis was a call-out to the public to submit their regrets. Finlay Ramsay says: “

George Finlay Ramsay, Book of Regrets: For Etna. Photo George Finlay Ramsay

He began making the films featured in the show in 2017, travelling to Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy. “” he says. “

He admits volcano took him by surprise. “

George Finlay Ramsay, Book of Regrets For Kamchatka (2019). Photo Philipp Krikunov

Then in 2018 he went to the remote volcanic peninsula of Kamchatka. The film, , documents the 4593-mile journey, and takes in local indigenous legends about volcanoes and witnesses the moment that the book of regrets is hurled into the inferno. Another film, , is a short dialogue between George and the volcanic island Stromboli.

Meanwhile, records his journey to Ulva, a prehistoric volcano off the Isle of Mull, in his car Vulva. The car, which he has covered with a volcano proofed suit, forms part of the show. Vulva to Ulva will be projected onto the car’s windscreen.

Of the car installation, he says: “

When asked what he hopes the audience will get from the shows, he says, “

t is accompanied by two live events, two workshops and a publication:


23 Breakfast Psalms & Subsequent Eruptions a risograph pamphlet containing poems and essays by Izabella Scott, Felice Moramarco, Nasim Luczaj, CA Conrad and George Finlay Ramsay.


26 October: First Eruption — an evening of ritual, music, audio visual collage, poetry and southern Italian food featuring CA Conrad, Coby Sey, Rebecca Salvadori, Leah Walker, Nasim Luczaj and George Finlay Ramsay — all creating live work in response to the project.
7pm — midnight

27 November: Last Eruption — an evening of talks and screenings with Prof. David Pyle, Tatiana Degai, Izabella Scott and George Finlay Ramsay.


23 October: Unfold Yr Own Myth — a workshop on creativity and ritual for adults.

25 November: My Neighbour The Volcano — a workshop for school children with Oxford University volcanologist Professor David Pyle.

SET Alscot Road
76–89 Alscot Rd, Bermondsey
London SE1 3AW

Exhibition dates: 27 October — 30 November 2019

Freelance journalist covering fine art, photography, film and tech. UK based

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