Fine art pen & ink drawings mark a new chapter for Billy Connolly
BAFTA nominated actor, comedian, musician and presenter, Billy Connolly CBE, today unveiled the results of a five year foray into the world of contemporary art with the launch of “Born on a Rainy Day” - a collection of six limited edition pieces created and signed by the Glaswegian star of Mrs Brown and The Last Samurai.
The collection took Connolly two years to create and consists of a series of thought-provoking pen and ink drawings, based on characters from the comedian’s imagination.
Previews were held at Castle Fine Art and marked the first time that Billy Connolly’s art has been seen in public since he began sketching for pleasure. According to Connolly, he first began to take an interest in sketching whilst on tour in Canada in 2007 and it was on a visit to an art shop in Montreal on a dull, cold and rainy day, that the urge to create took hold.
He began by sketching desert islands, one after the other, each island taking on its own characteristics and personality. Connolly remarked “The fifth island, I noticed, was considerably better than the first one. This progression in such a short time really excited me.”
At every opportunity since, Connolly has sketched and drawn characters from his imagination. Taking it up with more gusto and passion in 2010, he began to create the ‘Born on a Rainy Day’ collection – the title inspired by the day he had visited the art shop in Montreal.
He added; “Art, for me, bears no relation to comedy or music. My art is pure and un-judged. I am creating it for myself - it is personal and private whereas with a film, comedy show or music you expect people to be critiquing, watching, assessing. Art is different; it liberates you.”
Beth McCarthy of Castle Fine Art said; “Connolly’s characters are faceless, completely anonymous; seemingly devoid of emotion or expression and yet, the emotional connection with the audience is quite prevalent.
“It is perhaps the simplicity of these characters that allows the viewer to connect with them so deeply; there is nothing contrived or intended about this work. It is creativity in its purest form. It has come from a place inside the artist that is not concerned with an audience or showmanship; it is not driven by a reaction or approval; it is simply being.
“Each drawing has taken its own path begins to come alive as the viewer creates their own unique narrative. We feel honoured to be able to work alongside Billy to publish and exhibit this stunning and inspirational collection.”