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.
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.”
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.
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.
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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