BCN 2020 SLE Digital Brochure

BORN ON A RAINY DAY

BILLY CONNOLLY

It was on a rainy day in 2007 that Billy Connolly first put pen to paper. Taking refuge from the grey drizzle of Montreal, Canada, the veteran comedian entered an art shop with a twinkling curiosity and left with an armful of supplies and the urge to create. Back in his hotel room, his felt-tips and sketchbook formed a portal for his imagination, and over the next five years his drawings evolved into his debut fine art collection, Born On A Rainy Day . Upon its original release in 2012, the body of work was lauded for its humorous surrealism. Fellow star Vic Reeves, who attended its unveiling at Halcyon Gallery in Mayfair, revealed: “If I look at a painting and it makes me smile or makes me sad, then it’s achieved the effect it should have. I can smile at most of these.” Marking the fifth release from the series, the 2020 collection comprises six limited edition graphics, two boutique time- limited prints – one to commemorate Billy’s appearance in London, and the other in Glasgow – and marks the very first time that Billy’s art has been translated into sculpture. Just like his idiosyncratic, no-holds-barred comedy, each of the artworks reflects a refreshing honesty from the former welder, who last year released his latest book,  Tall Tales and Wee Stories , which brings together Billy's incredible storytelling, featuring famous routines like 'The Last Supper' and 'Incontinence Pants'. Black-and-white lines, Escher-esque surrealism and an increased use of colour are underpinned by a sense of liberation and a keen application of observational humour.

His process mirrors that of the Surrealist Automatism movement, whereby the artist allows their hand to move randomly across the paper or canvas without a specific intent. While eagle-eyed viewers may try to spot references to his personal life, the dreamlike quality of his art is closer to the work of Salvador Dalí than an autobiography. Others have likened Billy’s sketches to the cave paintings of the Aurignacian period (40,000-25,000 BC), which were characterised by their linear, one-dimensional approach. Charmingly simplistic, his faceless figures possess an extraordinary self-awareness and humanity. Devoid of emotion or expression, their anonymity opens them up to individual interpretation, creating a unique bond with the viewer. An admirer of artists like René Magritte and David Hockney, Billy has made an impact on the art world beyond his own creations. In 2017, the CBE recipient was immortalised in three 50ft murals in his hometown of Glasgow to celebrate his 75th birthday. His infamous ‘banana boots’ were later displayed at the People’s Palace, and in 2019 his art was projected onto MacLellan’s Castle to mark World Parkinson’s Day. For a man who has spent his life on stage, art – much like that Montreal art shop on a rainy day – is a welcome refuge. Billy adds: “My art is pure and unjudged; 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.”

Egyptian Love Story

Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm Paper size 77 x 57cm Framed size 85 x 65cm

Edition of 295 Framed £995

First Position

Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm Paper size 57 x 77cm Framed size 65 x 85cm

Edition of 295 Framed £995

Marshall Art

Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm Paper size 57 x 77cm Framed size 65 x 85cm

Edition of 295 Framed £995

Roman Candles

Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm Paper size 77 x 57cm Framed size 85 x 65cm

Edition of 295 Framed £995

Scotty Poser

Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm Paper size 77 x 57cm Framed size 85 x 65cm

Edition of 295 Framed £995

The Wreck Room

Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm Paper size 77 x 57cm Framed size 85 x 65cm

Edition of 295 Framed £995

Born On A Rainy Day Portfolio Set of 6 limited edition prints Pictured above unframed in presentation portfolio Unframed £3,950 | Framed £5,500

And On Monday, God Made The World

Polished Stainless Steel with Black Granite Base H 44.5cm x L 58.5cm x W 18cm £6,950

Biography

Sir Billy Connolly [B.1942, Glasgow]

William “Billy” Connolly, CBE is a Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname The Big Yin (The Big One). His first trade, in the early 1960s, was as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer in The Humblebums and subsequently as a soloist. In 2012, Billy Connolly’s ar tistic expression took a new path, in the form of fine ar t. “Ar t, for me, bears no relation to comedy or music. My ar t is pure and unjudged, I am creating it for myself.”

2001 Awarded an honorary doctorate from University of Glasgow 2002 Presented with a Special Award by British Academy of Film and Television Ar ts (BAFTA) 2003 Made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Bir thday Honours list 2006 Awarded an honorary doctorate from Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama 2010 Awarded an honorary doctorate from Nottingham Trent University 2010 Made a Freeman of Glasgow with the award of the Freedom of the City of Glasgow

2012 Presented with the Outstanding Contribution Award by BAFTA Scotland 2016 Presented with National Television Awards (NTA) Special Recognition Award 2017 Received a knighthood in the Queen’s Bir thday Honours list 2017 Received an honorary doctorate from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow 2019 Named the 'Greatest Glaswegian’ by the GlasgowTimes

“I just want to keep honing the thing that I’ve got and make it better and better that’s all. That’s the only ambition I feel, I just want to be very good at what I do…keep the standard very high, stay dangerous.”

The images contained within this literature are an artistic representation of the collection. To best experience our art, we recommend you contact your local gallery to arrange a viewing. © Washington Green 2020. The content of this brochure is subject to copyright and no part can be reproduced without prior permission.

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