George Wyllie MBE, 1921—2012, was a creative force whose wit and inventiveness helped him connect with wide and varied audiences in a way that eludes many other artists. He made us notice the things around us, those that were appearing and those that were disappearing. There is a question mark, real or implied, at the heart of Wyllie’s work that acts as a gateway to social, political and philosophical debate.
There is never a guarantee within Wyllie’s work, but a question, notably found in the centre of all things. Throughout his career George Wyllie has developed an imaginative and individual way of Being. On this journey as an artist and thinker he has dealt in absurdity and parody, questioned society’s orthodox ways of thinking, unearthed the true nature of things, and surpassed the commonality of Western thought in a random and unpredictable way. He carried this out in an almost metaphysical or sometimes pataphysical way. A true equilibrist of British Art, who questions in a neo-shamanistic way.
Best known for ‘The Straw Locomotive,’ ‘The Paper Boat,’ ‘A Day Down a Goldmine’, ‘Equilibrium of Spires’ and ‘The Cosmic Voyage’, Wyllie was awarded the MBE for services to the arts in 2005.