Edwyn Collins is regarded as one of Britain’s great music talents. He has been honoured with an Ivor Novello Award and is cited as an influence by many of today’s most successful bands with whom he collaborates. However, Collins considers himself first and foremost to be an illustrator.
Collins’ studies of native Scottish bird life and other creatures are also a great testament to the patience and perseverance of a person living through a recovery process. His well documented double brain haemorrhage in 2005 robbed Collins of the most basic of motor skills but through six years of rehabilitation, largely through art and drawing itself, Collins has regained some, if not all, of these skills. Following on from an exhibition in 2008 of similar works this new collection displays Collins’ returning artistic talent as the eclipse of his illness diminishes.
The exhibition will show an exclusive look at the full body of work from the early simple line drawings to his most recent pieces, brimming with colour and the majesty of the birds themselves. Collins’ drawings are almost all dated and show a humbling progression. Still without the use of his right arm following his illness Collins has used the quiet contemplation of drawing to slowly retrain his body and retrieve the abilities he previously possessed. This exhibition will include many of Collins’ most intricate and technically proficient works of the last six years, many of which have not yet been seen by the public. Furthermore Collins will be creating several large scale versions of his studies especially for our show.
“Drawing is natural, relaxing, instinctive. In music, I’m always striving for something. It’s my passion, but its hard work. Drawing is also my passion, but is simpler for me. It’s a pleasure” Edwyn Collins.
The beauty of the works and the quiet energy channelled into them create a humbling and affirming impression. The brilliance of nature, in the form of the birds Collins’ has drawn and journey he has been through in order to do this are expertly captured in this exhibition.
Born in Edinburgh 1959 to parents who met at Edinburgh Art School Edwyn’s farther, Peter Collins was one of the youngest people to be created a RSC during his twenties. Peter Collins works, in particular those from his Magical Realism period hang today in The National Gallery of Scotland. Edwyn spent much of his young life surrounded by his parents many artist friends, already sketching birds as a child his works caught the attention of James MacIntosh Patrick and a trade was arrange. Young Collins gave MacIntosh Patrick a Barn Owl drawing and received a watercolour of a copse.
“When he was 19, Edwyn’s duties as an illustrator for Glasgow Parks would occasionally involve guiding school parties around nature trails. He told me that the kids, taking in his un-teacherly appearance, asked him: “Sir, are you a punk?”, “Yes, children. I’m Nature Punk!” Grace Maxwell, Edwyn Collins’ Wife, Manager and author of “Falling & Laughing: The Restoration of Edwyn Collins”
The call of rock ‘n’ roll would pull Collins away from illustration in the eighties, he and friend Alan Horne formed their own record label, Postcard Records of Scotland. Collins still utilised his artistic skills designing record sleeves, posters and other promotional materials for his releases. Collins’ band, Orange Juice, enjoyed a number eight hit single with “Rip It Up” in 1985, although the band soon disbanded Collins continued with a solo career. His track “A Girl Like You” was a success on both sides of the Atlantic in 1994 and in the same year Collins built his own
Collins’ seventh album “Losing Sleep”, the first to be recorded since his illness was released by Heavenly Records in September 2010 receiving rave reviews. An impressive cast of successful and critically acclaimed contemporary musicians collaborated with Collins for this album including The Cribs’ Ryan Jarman and Johnny Marr, Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos and Nicky McCarthy, The Magic Numbers’ Romeo Stodart and The Drums. Collins embarks on a European tour in February 2011 before heading to both the USA and Japan in March.
For more on Edwyn, his music and artwork visit www.edwyncollins.com
To be added to the guestlist for the private view on March 3rd email firstname.lastname@example.org
Edwyn Collins ‘Nature Punk’
26th February — 6th March 2011
Private View Thursday 3rd March
Idea Generation Gallery
11 Chance Street, Bethnal Green, E2 7JB
Tel: 020 7749 6850
Monday to Friday: 10 — 6pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12 — 5pm