The Why?s Man

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

Back to... Influenced by George Wyllie



The first time I saw George Wyllie's work, I nearly crashed the company car I was driving. I was in my early 20s at the time, and had only been driving a few weeks, but the sight of a Straw Locomotive dangling forlornly over the Clyde from the Finnieston Crane in Glasgow is still etched in my mind.

That was in 1987.

The first time I met George Wyllie in 2011, he demanded to know: "What's your passion? The best thing you've ever done?" The thing about George Wyllie, I have come to learn, is that he asks direct questions. Of you as a person, your heritage, your creativity, and your whole philosophy on the world in which you find yourself living. He made big things happen. He made art which questioned everything and as someone who makes their living asking questions, I like that. I also like the fact that he had no time for pretension. He worked hard for a living all his life and at the age of 58, made 'time for art'.

Unlike many Friends of George Wyllie, I can't claim to have known him forever, though I have admired his work for what seems forever. George has now gone off on his Cosmic Journey, so in theory, is not here to see what it happening in his name as part of The Whysman Festival 2012. I have my doubts though. George knows, you know.


Jan Patience

And George Wyllie in 140 characters?

George Wyllie Education Initiative

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