Friday, March 10, 2017

Well, I have neglected this blog long enough - amazing how time flies, especially since I returned to live in Scotland in 2011!! I can't promise to post as often as I once did (owing to many demands on my time these days) but I'll do my best to add things relevant to the area as, and when, I can.

Today I want to cut-and-paste some of an article about the sculptor, George Wylie, as I found out, only today, that he lived for some of his life in Gourock and was laid to rest in the Greenock Cemetery. Please see the Wikipedia page for the full text.

George Wyllie
George Wyllie - August 2006
George Wyllie - August 2006

 George Ralston Wyllie MBE (31 December 1921 – 15 May 2012) was a Scottish artist. Wyllie produced a number of notable public works, such as the Straw Locomotive and the Paper Boat. Wyllie was born in Shettleston, in the east end of Glasgow, and grew up in Craigton, in the south west of the city. He later resided in Gourock. He worked as a customs officer before taking up art.
Wyllie's Straw Locomotive consisted of a full size steam locomotive, constructed from straw, and suspended from the Finnieston Crane, by the River Clyde in Glasgow.The sculpture was built at the former locomotive works at Springburn, and suspended from the crane for several months during 1987, before being taken back to the Springburn site and ceremonially burnt. The 80-foot Paper Boat was exhibited at The Tramway in Glasgow and at other sites including a placement on the Hudson River in New York, for which visit it carried quotations from Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments.
Wyllie's Slap and Tickle Machine is in the collection of the People's Palace, Glasgow, and wind-up stainless steel palm trees and a sculptural bandstand featured in the cafĂ© of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.
George Wyllie was commissioned in the 1970s to build some French influenced sculptures including General Charles de Gaulle, one of the Eiffel Tower and smaller mustachioed & beret wearing French visages (used as coat hooks) that were dotted around the city's first wine bar, "La Bonne Auberge", in its original site (the basement of the now defunct Beacons Hotel at 7 Park Terrace).
The following year Wyllie contributed a golden eagle made from old car bumpers which adorned the wall of Harvey's Diner, (it took six men to lift and secure it) and two stainless steel palm trees in Harvey's Cocktail Bar at 8 Park Terrace. A gramophone with a rather large fiberglass megaphone was also sited in the bar at Harvey's but is now on display (alongside the Tour d' Eiffel) in La Bonne Auberge located within the Holiday Inn, in Glasgow's theatreland.
One of Wyllie's most famous creations, Charlie Parker & His Band, could be seen within Charlie Parker's Bar in Royal Exchange Square in the 1970s and 1980s, the set was up for sale and was meant to have been on display in a jazz museum.
Wyllie's work can also be seen in the Clyde Clock (depicting a clock on running legs), outside Buchanan bus station and in the Monument to Maternity (depicting a huge nappy pin), on the site of the former Rottenrow Maternity Hospital. Collections: Glasgow Corporation Museum of Transport, Cheshire County Council, Glasgow Cathedral, St. John's Kirk, Perth, St. Mary's Hospital, Lanark, Mitchell Limited, Greenock, and public and private collections at home, USA and Sweden.


Robert Craig said...

Hi Jane - you don't happen to know who created the 'Stones of Destiny' - suitcase sized dressed stone with a convenient carrying handle and the word 'destiny' carved on them? I always thought it was Ian Hamilton Finlay but the sense of humour sounds more like Wylie. Can't find any information about them against either artist though!

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