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George Wyllie Retrospective exhibition

George Wyllie Retrospective exhibition

A brand new exhibition, celebrating the art and life of the internationally renowned Scottish artist, George Wyllie, will open at Paisley Museum on 17 July. The Why?sman is an exhibition looking at some of Wyllie’s most famous works, including A Day Down a Goldmine, The Straw Locomotive, The Paper Boat and Spires. The exhibition also includes work that has not been previously exhibited. This new display will offer insight to some of the ideas that flow through Wyllie’s playful yet serious approach to art, with fascinating exhibits and an array of interactive activities for children.


George Wyllie MBE (1921-2012) was a remarkable artist who reached out beyond the confines of the gallery to connect with people all over the world through his thought-provoking art. Wyllie described his own art as scul?ture because he said the question mark should be at the centre of everything.


Arts writer, Jan Patience, a trustee of the George Wyllie Foundation and co-author of a forthcoming biography of the artist, called The Making of George Wyllie, said: ‘George grew up just a stone’s throw from Paisley in Cardonald and he would have been delighted that this exhibition was taking place at Paisley Museum, which he knew well.


‘With George Wyllie’s work, there is always a question and I would urge visitors of all ages – from eight to eighty – to take some time out this summer and take in his art in all its playfully serious glory.’


Councillor Jim Harte, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, states ‘We are delighted to have been working with The George Wyllie Foundation to bring this incredible exhibition to Paisley Museum. With its combination of serious and humorous art, and activities for children, this exhibition will appeal to visitors of all ages’.


George Wyllie lived most of his live in Gourock and worked as a customs officer until he decided it was time for art and there began his pursuit of the Question Mark. He entered into a four-decade long late-flowering career as an artist, achieving international acclaim. As an untrained artist, his creative output is made even more remarkable with iconic pieces such as  The Straw Locomotive, which was a full size locomotive made out of straw, suspended by the Finnieston Crane in Glasgow and the 80 foot  Paper Boat.


The Why?sman exhibition is curated by Lynne Mackenzie and is the result of collaboration between Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd,  the Wyllie Family and The George Wyllie Foundation. It includes large scale sculptures, paintings, film and photographs.


Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Development team have organised various interactive activities for children throughout the exhibition, in addition to ‘Wyllie Wednesdays’ a programme of drop in and bookable arts activities for children, based around Wyllie’s Paper Boat.


The exhibition will open on Friday 17 July until Sunday 13 September at Paisley Museum and is free of charge.

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