Runrig legend Donnie Munro creates new mural in the heart of Portree

Runrig legend Donnie Munro turned street artist to paint a bold new mural in the heart of Portree.

Donnie Munro with his mural of The Storr in Portree. PIC: Gavin Major.
Donnie Munro with his mural of The Storr in Portree. PIC: Gavin Major.

The singer and Gaelic cultural leader has created the bold image of The Storr, which took four days to complete, on a once run-down wall in the town centre.

Mr Munro painted the mural as a favour to his son, Niall, who runs a coffee shop overlooking the space now filled with the bold painting of the island landmark.

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Niall said his dad, who studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and became an art teacher before getting involved in the music industry, became quite an attraction as he got to work on the piece.

Donnie Munro at work on the piece. PIC: Gavin Major.

He said: “There were so many people who came up to him. We did a timelapse of dad during the video and you can see how many people stopped to speak to him.

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“The mural has really become a talking point in Portree and that was one of the main reasons behind doing it. I wanted something that people would claim as their own.

"It’s been so well received locally – the comments have really been positive.”

Niall Munro, son of Donnie, with the mural which overlooks his coffee shop Birch in Portree. PIC: Contributed.

Mr Munro suggested an island landscape would be a perfect fit for the wall and started touring the island taking shots which would translate onto the space.

Niall, who is one of the founders of the SkyeLive festival, said: “He was going out taking photographs on his phone, which then became the main reference point

“The Storr became the obvious choice.

“Dad sketched it up and I have got some friends who do projections for us at the festival. They were able to project the sketch onto the wall and Dad then painted it.

“It has come out very nicely and dad is really pleased with it. He has got free coffee for life now.”

Niall said he was inspired to set up Birch after visiting his older sister in Melbourne.

He added: “There are so many cool coffee shops there that are just nice places to go, where you can sit and enjoy a piece of art. I am trying to replicate that.”

Birch opened just before lockdown last March and then was able to open up for a spell last summer.

Niall has spent his time during the latest lockdown setting up his own roastery and is due to fully open for business at the end of the month.

“I have a passion for coffee and it is great to be part of that whole process – from sourcing, importing, and now roasting, to then serving the final product. There is a story to the coffee and people really like that.

"SkyeLive was stopped in its tracks by the pandemic and Birch has been my focus. It’s been a nice project to work on.”

He said there was optimism on the island about the tourism trade re-opening as lockdown restrictions ease

“Some people are feeling really positive about it. Speaking to people with self-catering places on Skye, they are saying they are pretty much booked up from May so it’s looking good.”

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