George Wyllie worked as a post office engineer and customs officer before taking up art. Inspired by Italian metal sculpture, he took welding classes at the Royal Technical College and studied part-time at Glasgow School of Art. Exhibiting widely from the 1960s, he didn't become a full time artist until 1979. He described himself as a 'Scul?tor', exhibited around the world, and was perhaps best known for his 1987 'The Straw Locomotive' (suspended above the River Clyde by a crane then ceremonially burnt) and the award-winning 'The Paper Boat', which sailed down the Clyde, Sheldt and Hudson rivers.
This work was purchased for the collection in 1977 from an exhibition at the Macrobert Art Gallery.