John Byrne: The Boy and the Jabberwock

28 February - 29 March 2018 Edinburgh

This exhibition included John Byrne's work in theatre, film and television through preliminary drawings and character sketches from Tutti Frutti, The Slab Boys and Writer's Cramp. A highlight among these was a framed storyboard from the film adaptation of The Slab Boys, showcasing Byrne's involvement in the project and the completeness of his vision. A series of small watercolour works examined childhood and Americana through the surrealistic lens of the 1960s and 1970s, reminiscent of Byrne's album covers for Gerry Rafferty. These and an oil painting, Le Chat, are crafted with the deceptive straightforwardness of Byrne's artistic moniker 'Patrick', though are steeped with symbolism and hidden narratives. Self Portrait with Sea Shells, a deeply introspective self portrait, marked Byrne's return to painting in 1992 following a focus on writing.