Sir Billy Connolly unveils new works of art and announces two new TV series

Sir Billy Connolly has unveiled a new collection of his own art, including a sculpture inspired by his days as a shipyard welder in Glasgow.

New hand-signed silkscreen prints of a dog, a wading bird, an angel and a series of smartly-dressed figures have gone up for sale, along with the sculptures of angelic hang gliders and welders.

They have been unveiled to mark ten years of Connolly collaborating with the contemporary art retailer Castle Fine Art, which has galleries in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

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The new works have gone on sale, with starting prices of £3,000 for each piece ahead of the star’s 80th birthday in November. It comes as Connolly also announced plans for two new TV series looking back on his life and career.

Billy Connolly Does...The Decades, which will be shown as two three-part specials on the Gold channel, will chart the rise of the comic, musician and actor between the 1970s and 1990s.

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Connolly, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2013, revealed four years ago that he was giving up stand-up to concentrate on his art due to his declining health.

An official announcement about the new selection of artworks, entitled Making Life More Colourful, states: “The artist celebrates a decade with Castle Fine Art – and his upcoming 80th birthday – with eye-popping new limited-edition silkscreen artworks and sculptures. The new silkscreens are made in bold, dynamic colours, making them just as colourful as the personality who created them.”

Sir Billy Connolly has put a new selection of his own works of art up for sale through Castle Fine Art.

Connolly admitted he was worried that if his angel-like welder sculpture – And On Monday, God Made The World – looked silly, he would be "hated forever" by welders.

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In a new video interview, he said: “He is a great favourite of mine. He means a lot to me because he is a welder. I’m a welder.

“I keep thinking what welders will think when they see it. Welders on the Clyde will love it, being an angel, being a god, because they already think they are pretty-much God like.

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“It was really important to me to get it right. If I had made an arse of it and made welders look silly, they would hate me forever. They’re like that, welders.

'And On Monday, God Made The World' is a new stainless sculpture designed by Sir Connolly and inspired by his early days as a shipyard welder. Picture: Ak Suggi

“If you ask a welder on the Clyde ‘did they remember’, they would say ‘as a welder, he was c**p’.

“I was supposed to be an engineer, a joiner for fitters. I was glad I was a welder. They were the stars of the shipyard.”

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Another work, Pink Tie & Hanky, depicts three well-dressed figures against a pink background.

Connolly said: “Life is bearable with colour. It's lovely, it does the world such a favour.

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Sir Billy Connolly, who has lived in Florida in recent years, has made regular visits to his home city of Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

“We used to go to Jackson the tailor to have our suits tailor-made and pay them up. You ended up going in with a suit in tatters, still wearing it, to go in and pay for it. It was great. As I got richer as a welder, I got more suits.

“I had basket-weaved Winklepickers with a Cuban heel. I got on the bus in Drumchapel, where I used to live, and sat with my Eddie Fisher coat on and my Winklepicker shoes with white socks.

"An older woman sitting opposite me said ‘you’re very neat about the feet’. I’ve never forgotten her.”

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'And On Monday, God Made The World' is a new stainless sculpture designed by Sir Connolly and inspired by his early days as a shipyard welder. Picture: Ak Suggi
Walkies is a new silkscreen work of art created by Sir Billy Connolly.
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Pink Tie & Hank is a new silkscreen work of art created by Sir Billy Connolly.
Sir Billy Connolly's 'Blue Angel' is among his new works of art to go on sale.
Sir Billy Connolly picture at Castle Fine Art in Glasgow in 2018. Picture: John Devlin
Wading Bird is one of Sir Billy Connolly's works of art.
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Sir BIlly Connolly's latest works of art include a new 'Hang Glider' sculpture.

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