Kelpies artist says Billy Connolly sculpture “would be a fantastic way to pay tribute” to legendary Scottish comedian


Scottish sculptor Andy Scott has created some of the country’s largest public art works, and his portfolio of over 80 contemporary projects can be found both in the UK and in many corners of the world.

Some are up to 10m tall – 33ft – like Arria, known locally as the “Angel of Nauld” to local residents of Cumbernauld.

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His giant Air Spirit heads for the Ochil Hills, reflecting the natural landscape and rich biodiversity of Clackmannanshire.

Andy Scott, the artist behind the majestic Kelpies, hopes to one day portray Scottish comedian Sir Billy Connolly, pictured.

But his greatest public artwork by far is the magnificent Kelpies – two leviathan horse heads eclipsing commuters passing along the nearby M9 motorway.

Now Scott, who recently won the commission to create permanent statues of Manchester legends Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero, has said he wants to honor Sir Billy.

Speaking to The Times, the 56-year-old said Connolly “has been an informal ambassador to Glasgow and Scotland for decades and has to be one of the funniest comedians of all time, as well as a great actor and versatile artist “.

Scott, himself a former welder, added that a Connolly sculpture “would be a fantastic way to honor him and the impact he has had on Scottish culture”.

The magnificent Kelpies – two Leviathan horse heads eclipsing commuters passing along the nearby M9 motorway. Photo: Jamie Forbes

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In 2011 Scott unveiled a huge steel mural of Connolly on a wall in Glasgow as part of a £ 50million regeneration project.

The 20ft (6m) by 16ft (4.8m) mural stands near the comedian’s birthplace in Anderston, overlooking the shipyards where he worked as a welder and can be seen from the Kingston Bridge.

At the time, Connolly said he was humbled by the 500kg (79th) artwork, commissioned by the Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association.

“It is an unexpected honor for which I am extremely grateful,” he said.

“I consider myself a citizen of the world, but I was born and raised in Glasgow – that’s where my first children were born – where I learned to play the banjo – where I did my apprenticeship welder, and where I first performed in public.

“My heart beats to the beat of Glasgow, it’s in my blood.”

“I am happy and humbled that the Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association commissioned a mural of me, to be erected in my hometown, and delighted that it was so skillfully created by artist and master craftsman Andy Scott.”

Besides Connolly, Scott wishes to pay tribute to Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, the English-born artist whose role in the success of her husband, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, has long been debated.

In 2018, his bronze sculpture of Rennie Mackintosh was unveiled by Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon as part of a £ 60million renovation project in Anderston, Glasgow.

“She really deserves to be recognized as much as her husband,” Scott told The Times. “I think her statue would celebrate the role of women in the city, especially in the creative arts, as well as her own talents.”

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