Renaissance man John Byrne is recognised for his outstanding contribution to the arts – in theatre, in television drama and in painting - and for the importance of his work to all three. Born in Paisley in 1940, he studied drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art, winning the Bellahousten Award in his final year. After graduating he was first employed as a graphic artist, going on to work as a song writer, theatre designer, print maker and illustrator. In 1987 he was awarded a BAFTA for his TV drama Tutti Frutti.
His paintings are held in many national and private collections including at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery where, in 2014, his work was celebrated with the Sitting Ducks exhibition, showcasing his rich and varied drawings, paintings and multi-media work. In 2015 he was conferred with the Honorary Degree (DUniv) Doctor of the University of Stirling.