George Wyllie was born in Glasgow in 1921. Initially a sailor and then a customs officer, he rapidly acquired a national and international reputation as an artist and sculptor, working in regenerative, performance and public art. The underlying principle of his work was that art can change ideas and is an essential force in society. There was always a question at the heart of his work. He called his art Scul?ture.
Wyllie exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, Europe, India and the United States. His best known works are ‘The Straw Locomotive,’ ‘The Paper Boat,’ ‘A Day Down a Goldmine’, ‘Equilibrium of Spires’ and ‘The Cosmic Voyage.’ He also worked in theatre, writing, installations and film. He lived and worked in Gourock, Scotland.
Wyllie had a long association with the University of Strathclyde, staging his first ever solo exhibition in the University’s Collins Gallery in 1976. In April 1990, the University awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.
In 2005, he was awarded an MBE for service to the Arts. He died in 2012.