The Why?s Man

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

Back to Influences on George Wyllie


Three Squares Gyratory by George Rickey


George Rickey worked as an engineer during the Second World War. Although American, he spent part of his childhood in Helensburgh as his father was an executive with the Singer Sewing Machine Company, which had its largest factory, with 11,000 workers, in Clydebank.

He studied history at Oxford and spent a short time studying art in Paris, before returning to America where he taught at various schools, with a focus on painting. After the war, he became interested in creating sculptures, and began making kinetic sculpture, often large sculptures which moved in response to air currents. Much of his work was created in his studio in East Chatham and it was to his Foundation there that he invited George Wyllie to take up a residency in 1982.

This gave the Scottish artist the opportunity to work with internationally acknowledged artists and to create work inspired by the rural setting. He explained the influence of his experience at the Rickey Foundation, saying that...

"The two materials I like best are for these reasons:
one is an eternal material, and one is as modern as one can get in a practical sense.
The first is stone, and the modern one is stainless steel."

George Wyllie

Rickey's influence can also be seen in the later spires, which became a very significant part of George Wyllie's work.



32 Spires of Hibernia

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