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David Byrne

Epithet: Artist 1956-

Biography: David Byrne is a renowned Manx born artist and has lived on the Isle of Man for his whole life. The artist was educated at the Douglas High School for Boys, before apprenticing to a local firm where he studied interior decorating, before attending the Douglas School of Art. Before his artistic career fully fledged, Byrne took up cross country running for the Isle of Man Athletics Association, putting most of his energy into this before developing his artistic talents.

Byrne paints mostly in watercolours and pastels to depict the Island’s landscapes and seascapes, seeking to capture and celebrate the sense of 'Manxness'. In an autobiographical extract from 1963 in the Isle of Man Weekly Times, it was stated:

‘During his cross-country running, David had covered a great deal of his native land but had moved too fast to appreciate its beauties. But now he got to know it from an aesthetic point of view…he considers that the Island offers unlimited scope for the artist without looking further afield’.

Byrne is inspired by the works of the Island's past artists, such as John Aitken, William Hoggatt and Archibald Knox, believing that the work of such artists presents a constant challenge to aspire to.

One of Byrne's most well-known works is the watercolour, 'Cregneash, y Balley Ain', inspired by his rural dwelling in Cregneash, a historic village on the island - where he lived with the late Nancy Corkish, a fellow Manx watercolour artist and Byrne’s creative partner.

Byrne has had his work exhibited in the Royal Institute of Watercolour Painters in London; The Pastel Society; and The Royal Cambrian Academy in Wales. Outside of his artwork depicting Manx landscapes, Byrne has also been known to exhibit work featuring subjects he has painted on holiday - Venice being a favourite location, perhaps mirroring the work of one of Byrne’s predecessors, and fellow renowned Manx artist, John Miller Nicholson.

Currently, Byrne remains an active member of the Manx art community, and is an active member of the Isle of Man Art Society.

Gender: Male

Name Variant: Byrne, David, Mr


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