The Why?s Man

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

Back to The Straw Locomotive


George Wyllie had the idea and a plan for the Straw Locomotive at least a year before it was created. It was one of many ideas he had come up with at the time.

In 1987, his idea was selected in a competition for major site-specific artworks, run by TSWA-3D. This one was definitely 'place specific and people specific', and the funding from the competition meant that it could be created. It also meant that it was recognised as 'art'. At the time, some people had had doubts about that. Few people would doubt it now.

The full-scale straw locomotive was to hang from the Finnieston Crane - the crane from which over 18,000 real trains from the North British had been loaded on to ships for railways around the world - and commemorated Glasgow's train production and the loss of skilled labour in many other heavy industries.

George Wyllie Education Initiative

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