John Byrne Spills the Beans to Sandy Moffat Monday 16th November 2009, 7pm The Mitchell Theatre

Photo courtesy Dr Leonard Esakowitz

A special event celebrating this year’s Annual Exhibition was held in the Mitchell Theatre on 16 November when an enthusiastic audience welcomed painter, playwright and Honorary RGI, John Byrne to ‘spill the beans’ to Sandy Moffat, former Head of Drawing and Painting at the Glasgow School of Art.

Their conversation illuminated the extraordinary talents of the Paisley-born all-round artist and the influences, experiences and backdrops that directed and defined his work, whether by chance or by singlemindedness, making him a giant of contemporary creative media.   Perhaps best-known for his plays ‘The Slab Boys’ trilogy, ‘The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil’, ‘Writer’s Cramp’ with its quintessential character, Francis McDade, and his television series ‘Tutti Frutti’, his writing is underpinned by his keen wit and social and political comment.   First and foremost a visual artist, he is also distinguished for his portraits and self-portraits – and of course for taking gable-end graffiti into the realm of fine art!

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