Flying Free with Billy Connolly on his 80th birthday

Take off into the wild blue yonder with the very special limited edition series of works by Billy Connolly, 'Free Flight Variations – A Series of 365 Unique Prints', showing a man wearing stripy trousers, borne aloft by stripy balloons. Every piece is a special hand-signed artwork that comes in 365 individual colour variations, and each piece is different to the others, offering collectors the exciting opportunity to acquire a 'unique' Billy Connolly artwork which is almost like owning an original drawing! The colour combination of balloons in the artwork change totally with each piece and upon purchase, you will receive a confirmation email detailing those of your own unique print.

This new addition to Billy’s Born on a Rainy Day collection follows his new silkscreen editions and sculptures launched earlier this year and is released in celebration of his 80th birthday on 24 November 2022.

Read on to find out more about 'Free Flight Variations', and shop this series and his previous works below.

Featured art: 'Free Flight Variations' by Billy Connolly, giclee on paper, framed, £2,450.


In living colour

Billy Connolly’s collection of limited-edition silkscreens, released in September, brought vibrant colours to his drawings, and ‘Free Flight Variations’ continues Billy’s voyage into life-affirming colours. The man in the piece is a favourite subject of his. “I draw this subject a lot,” Billy says. “I’ll open my sketchbook and there'll be another one that I'd forgotten about. And they're there are subtle differences in them, which just happen as I do them.”

The random nature of Billy’s drawings is reflected in this joyous series, in which the combination of coloured balloons in every print is totally different, making every one utterly unique – not unlike Billy himself.

Sir Billy Connolly discussing his inspiration behind 'Free Flight Variations'.


Billy's inspiration

Billy fondly remembers the story of Larry Walters, the American who in 1982, tied huge weather balloons filled with helium to a garden chair and took off into the sky, a dream Walters had wanted to make come true for many years.

“I remember when breakfast television was new, I was interviewed by Michael Parkinson on it in London,” Billy remembers. “It was eight in the morning and I'd slippers on. We were looking at the papers to find weird things, and this guy in California had got his garden chair and tied balloons to it and he flew off, lessening his height by shooting the balloons out - that really appealed to me, I'm glad there are people like that in the world. And some time later, I read that he had died, and I was sad, because people that deserve to live because they make the world a finer place. They’re doing something that's totally useless and making you smile; there's nothing better you can do for the planet. Television news is all philistine bores who know all about how money works. If only there was a guy with balloons and a gun - we would have a much nicer time watching the news.”

Billy, ever the snappy dresser, was also inspired by his own wardrobe, and has dressed the figure in ‘Free Flight Variations’ in similar style. “I love those trousers, I've worn them for many years. and I love them. They make me happy and they make my legs happy as I walk along the street.

“I often wear wild shoes, because they're the same; I see them jutting out and they make me happy. And I see people looking at them askew - ‘Oh, look at his shoes!’ - and it makes me even happier.”


"Castle Fine Art asked me if I wanted to try colour on some of the pieces, and I did, and they just came to life. It was a breathtaking move - I was flabbergasted!"

Billy Connolly

Featured Artist

From the blog

#ASKBILLY: Billy Connolly answers your questions


'The Big Yin' revealed the fifth instalment of his Born On A Rainy Day collection. To celebrate, we gave collectors the chance to have their questions answered by the award-winning comedian.

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