The Why?s Man

"My art is place specific and people specific." George Wyllie

Back to Birds



In 1988, just before Christmas, 250 robins appeared on the facade of the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. George Wyllie had been invited to decorate the building for the festive season, and he created the wee robins, working with five unemployed young people in Port Glasgow, with whom he was working as part of an Arts Council residency.

They talked about art and thought of a project to make robins but the materials had to be cheap material, as there was only a very small budget. The robins were made from sawn-up logs,from a local estate, steel wire, roofing felt and painted with bright red paint. An audio recording of birds twittering added to the atmosphere.

At the end the robins for £2.50 each, a bonus for the young people involved. One girl went on to Art College in Dundee.


For the Burds - George Wyllie explains

Robins in Edinburgh - George Wyllie explains

*Scottish Schools GW Archive

Robins Re-assembled by Rothesay PS (2012)

George Wyllie Education Initiative

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