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Gourock Honours Artist George Wyllie

Above: A selection of the boats that have been created for 'This Little Boat' exhibition (Pic: The Pirate and Bluebelle Gallery)

Budding painters have created a new tribute in honour of late Gourock artist George Wyllie.

Ahead of the opening of a special garden in memory of the 'Paper Boat' creator on Friday August 24, people visited the town's Heritage Centre on Sunday 19 August to decorate their own paper boats.

All of the works will feature in an exhibition, 'This Little Boat', being organised by the George Wyllie Foundation to coincide with the launch of the outdoor space later today.

Inverkeithing High School teacher Kathryn Brown started the ‘This Little Boat’ project after spotting the relics of a model boat lying in a bin and feeling compelled to make it seaworthy again. The art teacher began lovingly restoring her "peace boat", and decided to get her pupils involved too.

This sparked a challenge to try to send the little boat to every country in the world in an effort to show her pupils how generous people can be. This people powered project, whether it be the original boat or the little wooden boats, was intended to show that despite some of the awful things happening in the world right now, there is  a lot of positive, good things and that people are still generally kind.

After travelling to nine countries, the little peace boat kept making its way back home and so the direction of the project took a new steer. In her own time, Kathryn began making hundreds of tiny boats from plywood, their shape a tribute to Scottish artist George Wyllie who famously put a giant paper boat on the Clyde. 

School pupils and some well-known faces such as John Byrne and singer Terry Hall, have since decorated the little boats and Kathryn has been overwhelmed with requests to be a part of the project from all over the world.

A public event took place at the Gourock Heritage Centre on Sunday 19th August for members of the public to paint their own plywood boats which will become part of the exhibition and will be displayed at Gourock Heritage Centre from 24thto 26th August 2018. The exhibition will be running from 12pm to 4pm.

Guests from the Garden Opening are invited to view the exhibition after the official ceremony on 24th August. Light refreshments will be provided. The George Wyllie Garden will officially be opened at 1pm by Louise Wyllie, George's daughter.

It has been created as part of an investment by Inverclyde Council to improve towns and villages in collaboration with Riverside Inverclyde and the Gourock Town Centre Regeneration Forum.


Published: 24 August 2018