Kirkby Gallery is to host Willy Russell’s first solo art exhibition

Willy Russell painting

In 2015, Kirkby Gallery held an exhibition celebrating the life and work of Knowsley playwright, Willy Russell. It was a combination of items on loan from Liverpool John Moores Archives, The Liverpool Playhouse, and Willy himself; displays included original scripts, posters, props, costumes, ephemera, photographs, awards, and two paintings by Willy which revealed another of his creative talents.

The critical success and popularity of Willy Russell: Behind the Scenes was such that Willy suggested that Kirkby Gallery could be the venue for him to exhibit his ever-growing body of artwork; Knowsley Culture Development and Events Service were happy to oblige and are proud to announce that Willy Russell: Another Aspect will open at Kirkby Gallery on Tuesday 9 May and run until Saturday 2 September.

Ranging from energetic sketches to tranquil landscapes, portraits to abstract mixed media pieces, Willy’s work demonstrates the breadth of his talent. For this, his first solo exhibition as a visual artist, we present a gallery packed with a stunning range of paintings and works on paper inspired by the places and people in his life; whilst the exhibition doesn’t seek to tell a story, it does go some way to tell the artistic journey that Willy is on with his painting.

“I think for a large part of my life I used my ears first and eyes second. I’d look but I don’t think I was really seeing – not in the way that you have to if you’re going to try to draw and paint… so when, rather late in life I began to try and paint and draw I had to start using my eyes much more, to try and learn to see as well as look.”

Kirkby Gallery, The Kirkby Centre, Norwich Way L32 8XY

Open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 1pm

Admission is free