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Sculptor George Wyllie passes away

Sculptor George Wyllie passes away

THE sculptor George Wyllie has passed away at the age of 90.

Mr. Wyllie, who was born in Glasgow, liked to describe himself a Scul?tor — saying that question mark was too important to leave to the end.

During World War II Mr. Wyllie served in the Royal Navy. He visited Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bomb — an experience which was to have a profound effect on his life and later on his work as an artist.

In many respects Mr. Wyllie enjoyed what has been described as a “late flowering” career as an artist.

It was while working as a customs officer in the mid-1960s that he began to produce his first works of art. But it was not until 1979, when he left the customs service at the age of 58, that he turned to art full-time. 

His work has been exhibited around the world and many pieces have been installed abroad.

Mr. Wyllie will be particularly remembered for his giant public works including The Paper Boat and The Straw Locomotive, see below.

He was awarded an M.B.E. in 2005.

His death comes as a year-long celebration of his artistic legacy takes place in Scotland with The Wysman Festival and an archive exhibition, A Life Less Ordinary, which is taking place in The Collins Gallery at the University of Strathclyde

Jan Patience, who is the chair of the Friends of George Wyllie, lad tributes to the artist. She said: “George Wyllie was a remarkable artist who reached out beyond the confines of the art gallery scene and connected with real people all over the world through his thought-provoking art.

“He had the knack of making you ask questions, of not accepting the status quo. His mind was constantly enquiries and his art was constantly pushing out barriers. That is his legacy.”

To view a photograph of The Straw Locomotive, click here.

To view a short interview with George Wyllie, click here.


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