Renowned artist John Byrne unveils new artwork in Aberdeen

John Byrne with Lennox Dunbar and David McCracken. Picture: Aberdeen City Council
John Byrne with Lennox Dunbar and David McCracken. Picture: Aberdeen City Council
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JOHN Byrne has revealed a striking new limited edition print to support the fundraising campaign for the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery.

The special print has been produced thanks to the generosity of Peacock Visual Arts (PVA) printmaking studio in Aberdeen and proceeeds from its sale will go directly to the Inspiring Art and Music fundraising campaign.

The three-colour screen print titled ‘E St’ features a bold portrait head against a mythical New York streetscape.

The £30m Inspiring Art and Music transformation of three much-loved buildings – Aberdeen Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall and Remembrance Hall – is creating a world class cultural centre, celebrating the inspiring power of art and music in the North-east of Scotland.

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The scale of the project is unprecedented in Aberdeen. Funding of £10m has been awarded from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a further £10m investment from Aberdeen City Council. And a fundraising campaign is under way.

John Byrne was born in Paisley and attended Glasgow School of Art from 1958 to 1963, is an award-winning writer and artist whose career has spanned almost 60 years.

His works ranges from plays (The Slab Boys), TV (Tutti Frutti and Your Cheatin’ Heart), to book and record covers, illustrations and paintings.

Peacock Visual Arts is a unique facility for making fine art prints.

These prints are usually made in small quantities, where the artist is directly involved in their creation, as opposed to the huge numbers of mechanical reproductions of existing images commonly sold in the high street.

John Byrne said, “I have enjoyed a long association with Peacock Visual Arts so I was delighted when they approached me with the idea of producing a print to support the Art Gallery fundraising campaign.

“I have fond memories of spending time in Aberdeen shooting ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart’ – 35 of the coldest night shoots imaginable to be precise! And I’m very happy to be supporting the redevelopment of the city’s wonderful Art Gallery.”

David McCracken, Print Curator at Peacock Visual Arts, said, “Every individual and organisation in the region will reap rewards from the ambitious transformation of Aberdeen Art Gallery. At PVA, we wanted to support the redevelopment and the result is this bold new artwork by John Byrne.”

Professor Lennox Dunbar RSA, a trustee of Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Development Trust, said: “It is a huge honour that an artist of the calibre of John Byrne is supporting the fundraising campaign for the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery in this way.

“John’s career as an artist and writer, as well as his passion for music, really encapsulates the ethos of our ‘Inspiring Art and Music’ fundraising campaign. Every purchase of this very special print will help us to achieve our fundraising target.

“We are equally delighted to work with Peacock Visual Arts who have used their expertise to work with John to produce such a unique and original print. The support of a local business such as PVA highlights how important this redevelopment is to supporting the cultural economy in Aberdeen.”

The Inspiring Art and Music redevelopment will add an additional 10 new gallery spaces, as well a a spectacular copper-clad 500m² roof-top gallery with fit-for-purpose space to show the very best temporary exhibitions from around the world, as well as much-needed learning and event space.

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The prints, of which there are only 50, cost £400 each and can be ordered through the Inspiring Art and Music fundraising campaign. Contact Michael Hodgson, campaign manager, via email: mhodgson@aberdeencity.gov.uk

To make a donation to the Inspiring Art and Music fundraising campaign visit www.aagm.co.uk/donate or alternatively to donate £10 text AAGM007 to 70191.