Caught by the River

Edwyn Collins: British Birdlife

1st October 2008

An Exhibition of Drawings  
The Smithfield Gallery, 16 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9HY

21 October – 1 November, 2008 

Edwyn Collins’ legendary music history as one of the UK’s most respected singer song-writers, runs from his early years as the founder of Glasgow’s acclaimed indie rock outfit Orange Juice in the late 1970s and early 1980s, to a long-standing solo career which continues into the present day, most recently releasing the album ‘Home Again’, on Heavenly Recordings. 
Edwyns’ creative output has not been confined to music however. The son of an art lecturer, Edwyn began sketching at school and later trained to be a draftsman. From the outset one theme demanded his attention: British Wildlife.

Whilst building his musical career, Edwyn harboured a private dream to revise and update the prints of Archibald Thorburn in Lord Lilford’s of the British Isles, first published c1880. The detailed
draughtsmanship of each coloured plate fascinated Edwyn and encouraged him to replicate these
images with outstanding precision. However, bird illustration soon became incompatible with the life 
of a successful pop star and the hobby wained. 
Having suffered a life threatening brain hemorrhage in February 2005, Edwyns’ life was put on temporary hold. Affecting his main motor skills, speech and walking, the priorities of survival dominated the next period of his life. However, it was during the process of rehabilitation, and gradually regaining his abilities, that Edwyn again re-found his love of illustration. Whilst speech, playing music and mobility were taking their time to recover, Edwyn focused his attentions on art. Re-learning to draw with his left hand, from October 2005 Edwyn has drawn one bird, studiously, every day, each titled and dated, and mapping this extraordinary process of recovery via art. 
For the very first time this October, Edwyn Collins’ drawings will be exhibited in a London gallery, detailing a diary of recovery and an impassioned rediscovery of a love of illustrated bird life.
Tel: 020 7489 7550