Mapping Memories

The George Wyllie Art Trail

Producer
Creating a freely-accessible digital map of George Wyllie’s artworks to coincide with his centenary year in 2021.

When George began his career as an artist at the age of 52, when most people are contemplating retirement, he became enormously prolific. His ‘out and about’ approach to art took him across Scotland and beyond. Even today people frequently contact the Wyllie Estate with stories of works we don’t know about.

There are hundreds of sculptures, installations and artworks that could feature on this art trail and we expect, with the help of the public, to find many more.

We are undertaking the huge challenge of investigating, mapping and publishing an extensive catalogue of information – ensuring George’s work won’t be lost to history.

A Legacy List
In 2011 George’s family created a ‘wish list’ of things they could do to secure the artist’s legacy and ensure his work is available to future generations. With a lot of sweat and some tears, we’ve humphed George’s incredibly heavy sculptures to galleries and museums across Scotland and steadily ticked items off the family’s legacy list.

As well as mapping permanent public sculptures and works in collections, the project will feature temporary works that now only exist in archive photos and as memories, including his best-known works, The Straw Locomotive and The Paper Boat.

We’ll ask communities, artists, curators, critics, welders, ship builders, school pupils – everyone who worked with George and experienced his art to contribute to this project by sharing their stories.

An art trail with locations and details of works, including shared memories and stories, will then be freely available online allowing more people to discover and enjoy George’s accessible art-for-all.


A Crowdfunding campaign has brought this project to life.
Launched in August 2020, we crowdfunded over £4000 to kickstart this project. The project was also backed by Creative Scotland for funding and we are gratefull to their support. See the crowdfunder page.

The Mapping Memories Project is live.
Launched on 31 December 2020, which would have been George Wyllie’s 99th birthday, the project is now accepting comunity contirbutions via the webiste https://georgewyllie.com