Sunday, 27 November 2011

Huge Billy Connolly mural unveiled in Anderston

A huge steel mural of Billy Connolly has been unveiled on a wall in Glasgow as part of a £50m regeneration project.

The 20ft (6m) by 16ft (4.8m) mural has been created by artist Andy Scott.

It is near the comedian's birthplace, overlooks the shipyards where he once worked as a welder and can be seen from the Kingston Bridge.

Connolly said he was "humbled" by the artwork. "It is an unexpected honour for which I am extremely grateful," he said.

Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association commissioned the 500kg (79st) mural which formally completes phase 1 of the regeneration project.

"This iconic mural looking out across the shipyards where Billy worked is a fitting tribute to one of the world's most recognised, living Glaswegians”

Councillor Bob Winter Glasgow Lord Provost

Connolly, 68, said: "I consider myself a citizen of the world, but I was born and raised in Glasgow - it is where my first children were born - where I learnt to play the banjo - where I served my apprenticeship as a welder, and where I first performed in public.

"My heart beats to the rhythm of Glasgow - it is in my blood.

"I am happy and humbled that Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association commissioned a mural of me, to be erected in my home city, and thrilled that it was so skillfully created by artist and master craftsman Andy Scott."

Mr Scott said: "We're delighted Mr Connolly likes the mural as it's been a long and challenging commission.

"It's been interesting capturing a living legend but Mr Connolly never interfered and very quickly gave the finished artwork his blessing."

He said he had tried to capture the comedian in his early days to reflect his roots in the city.

Mr Scott's early sketches were hand-drawn in pencil on a giant timber wall in his workshop, which replicated the gable end in Anderston.

Once he was happy with the drawing, it became the template for the steel mural.
Read more at BBC

Also reported by The Glaswegian and STV News (with video)

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