When the ‘Aff Yir Rocker’ Oor Wullie sculpture came up for auction, there was only one place it was truly destined for. Created by Scottish artist, Wendy Helliwell, ‘Aff Yir Rocker’ is composed of upcycled garments worn and loved by some of the country’s biggest names in music, and so it was fitting that it should find a home at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange where many of these legendary rock stars have performed over the years.
This year marks 110 years since the Edinburgh Corn Exchange was built, and exactly 20 years since it was renovated and reopened as a music and events venue. During that time, hundreds of performers have taken to the stage there, from breakthrough artists to music legends. And so, to mark this momentous milestone, owner Paul DeMarco made it his mission to secure the sculpture, outbidding the competition and helping to raise a substantial amount of money for the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.
Proudly sponsored by Coulters, ‘Aff Yir Rocker’ took six weeks to create and features garments donated by the likes of Midge Ure, KT Tunstall, Wet Wet Wet, Jim Kerr, Fish, Hue and Cry, Red Sky July, The Wendy’s, Jim Kerr, Davy Henderson, Richard Jobson and Shirley Manson. The result is a celebration of Scotland’s rich musical talent, as well as a comment on the importance of sustainability.
Speaking after the sale of her sculpture, artist Wendy said; ‘The Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity has always been very close to my heart as my son was a neonatal baby for the first four weeks of his life and he may not be here today if it wasn’t for the expertise and dedication of the hospital team. I was therefore thrilled to be able to help raise vital funds for this great cause. I was equally delighted that the Edinburgh Corn Exchange was the winning bidder. I’m hoping it will become a focal point at the venue. He might even collect a few more famous signatures at future concerts!’
Commenting on his purchase, venue owner Paul said; ‘I’m delighted to be bringing home the ‘Aff Yir Rocker’ Oor Wullie to the Edinburgh Corn Exchange where he rightfully belongs. The sculpture is not only a fitting tribute to the incredible performances we’ve hosted here over the past 20 years, it’s also a timely reminder of the importance of sustainability. Just as Wendy has given each of the upcycled garments a new purpose, we have given the Edinburgh Corn Exchange a new lease of life, taking on the listed building in 1999 and transforming it into the award-winning events venue it is today. We’ll certainly be giving Oor Wullie the rock star treatment when he’s officially installed!’
Image: left to right, Paul DeMarco: Owner of the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, Tara Willis: Associate Director (Operations) Coulters, Wendy Helliwell: Artist
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