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Billy Connolly

Born: Glasgow
Lives and works: Los Angeles, USA
Awards: CBE (2017), BAFTA Scotland (2012), Freedom of Glasgow (2010)
Exhibitions: People's Palace (2015)
“Art, for me, bears no relation to comedy or music. My art is pure and unjudged; I am creating it for myself.”

With a BAFTA award and knighthood under his belt, Billy is a creative force to be reckoned with. The comedian, musician, presenter and actor added a new string to his bow in 2012: fine art.

Inspiration

After working as a welder in Glaswegian shipyards in the 1960s, Billy became a folk singer and comedian. He has also appeared in films like Indecent Proposal (1993), Mrs. Brown(1997) and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).

Fondly known as 'The Big Yin', his 75th birthday was celebrated in 2017 with three portraits by leading artists Jack Vettriano, John Byrne and Rachel Maclean. These were later turned into part of Glasgow's official mural trail. In October the same year, he was knighted at Buckingham Palace by Prince William. 

Billy’s technique is similar to that of Surrealist automatism, whereby the artist allows their hand to move freely without a concept in mind. His art has also been likened to cave paintings from the Aurignacian period (40,000-25,000 BC). While his characters are anonymous, their charming simplicity is undeniable.

Billy says: “Art, for me, bears no relation to comedy or music. My art is pure and unjudged; I am creating it for myself.”

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Inside the world of Billy Connolly

Here's a taste of what the artist has been up to recently! To make sure you stay up-to-date with all of our news, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Latest events

Billy Connolly | Exhibition

To celebrate the upcoming launch of his limited edition artworks, we'll be holding a special exhibitions at our gallery in Glasgow. Here, you'll be able to access exclusive original pieces by the award-winning actor, comedian and musician. 

From the blog

AVAILABLE NOW: Born On A Rainy Day 2019

Comedian, actor and CBE recipient Billy Connolly has delighted collectors since 2012 with his surreal black-and-white sketches. The fourth instalment of his humorous series is now available online and in galleries nationwide.

Billy Connolly lights up Scotland for Parkinson’s

It isn’t just television screens the veteran performer has lit up recently. In April, the Glaswegian legend saw his art projected across major buildings to raise awareness of the neurological condition.

Magazines and brochures

Billy Connolly | Born On A Rainy Day (2019)

Since its original release in 2012, Born On A Rainy Day has showcased Billy Connolly's legendary wit through humorous black-and-white sketches and Escheresque surrealism. Inspired by a rainy day in Montreal, the series is a revealing tour of his unique imagination. 

Billy Connolly | Born On A Rainy Day (2012)

The collection of six limited edition pieces is created and signed by the star of Mrs Brown and The Last Samurai and is based on characters from the Glaswegian's imagination. He was inspired to create the series following a rainy day in Montreal in 2007, when he was on tour. After buying some felt tip pens and and a sketchbook, he sketched islands - which in time became his humorous, detailed shapes. 

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