The Why?s Man

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


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AT PROMONTORY POINT

 

One of several locomotive sculptures, At Promontory Point, is part of George Wyllie's Incomplete History of Transportation in America, an installation at Massachusetts State Transport Building in Boston in 1984.

In 1869, two locomotives, one from the Union Pacific and one from Central Pacific, drove right up to each other at Promontory Point, Utah so that they actually touched, marking the completion of the transcontinental railway.

There was an official ceremony, and a large crowd to watch as the last spikes, one golden and one silver were used to join the two railways, and create a railway line which stretched from the east to the west coast of the United States. A historic moment in the history of American transport.

Having been invited to take up a residency in America by George Rickey in 1982, America subsequently provided the stimulus for a range of work, including various pieces about cinema cowboy, Tom Mix - 'always a clean fighter'- and a childhood hero of George Wyllie. In 1986, this work was part of a touring exhibition, Americana.


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