About this artwork

Paisley-born John Byrne has one of the most recognisable faces in Scottish culture. He is often referred to as a ‘Renaissance Man’, combining several careers – author, playwright, theatre designer, director and artist. In his most famous play, 'The Slab Boys', Byrne drew on his experience as a paint mixer in a Paisley carpet factory. During the 1980s Byrne wrote the cult television series 'Tutti Frutti', followed by 'Your Cheatin' Heart', which used country and western music as a backdrop to a comedy of Glasgow life. In this portrait, Byrne’s head is illuminated, as if a Renaissance portrait, so as to almost appear floating against the black backdrop. It was the first photograph McGoverne took during the shoot, before Byrne had taken his coat off.

Ryan McGoverne

Ryan McGoverne

Ryan McGoverne was born in Matlock, Derbyshire. At the age of three his family moved to North Wales. He studied Fine Art at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff and Fort Hays State University, Kansas. In 2002 he relocated to Scotland where he continues to work as a portrait photographer. McGoverne has stated that his strongest influence, “in life and in work, is the errant Welsh poet Richard James Edwards”.