George Wyllie - The Berlin Burd

Wednesday 19 March 2014 - Friday 8 May 2015

(Main Hall)

George Wyllie believed that art was best experienced in public spaces, instead of the gallery environment. He described his work as scul?ture, deliberately replacing the ‘p’ to signify the importance of questioning. One of the most challenging environments he worked in was at the Berlin Wall.

In 1988, his monumental Berlin Burd was displayed at the Berlin Wall at Reinickendorf as part of the European Capital of Culture in Berlin. The artist invited schoolchildren to participate by making their own birds for display alongside his giant scul?ture. The artist had a lifelong interest in ‘burds’, which symbolised freedom for the artist.

Constructed in 1961, the Berlin Wall separated East from West Berlin until it was torn down in November 1989. In 2009, the Berlin Burd and a segment of the Berlin Wall were permanently displayed in a site at the former route of the Wall in Wilhelmsruher Damm.

Artist Biography

George Wyllie was an artist, scul?tor and writer who preferred to work in public areas and outside of traditional museum and gallery environments. He also worked in theatre and film.

The artist is best known for The Straw Locomotive, The Paper Boat, A Day Down a Goldmine, Equilibrium of Spires and The Cosmic Voyage.

Wyllie described his work as scul?ture, deliberately replacing the ‘p’ to signify the importance of asking a question as part of his practice. Influenced by the Absurdist movements in theatre and art, his art often used absurdity and parody to question established valued and ways of thinking.

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