The Why?s Man

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

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George Wyllie was interested in what Robert Burns had to say and he often used these words of Burns in his own work...

'Whatever mitigates the woes or increases the happiness of others, this is my criterion of goodness; and whatever injures society at large, or any individual in it, this is my measure of iniquity'.

Robert Burns

As with the words George Wyllie chose to quote from Adam Smith, the point being made is that making other people happy and putting them first will make each of us happy.

The words of Burns were often included in George Wyllie's work, and there was often a sense of humour in the way he used them and images of Robert Burns, often on shortbread tins, even creating on one occasion, a shortbread tin rocket, made during the Cold War with the hope that the Russians would see it and say, 'That Man to Man the world o'er, Shall brithers be for a' that.

The Burns Line, a boat made by George Wyllie in which the cargo is made out of shortbread tins is now in the Burns Museum in Ayr.


Robert Burns in Wyllie's art

On Pulling Down A Straw Statue

George Wyllie Education Initiative

Managed by Media Matters Education Consultancy