Charlie’s a Starr of anti-gun campaign

Ringo Starr with his 'Knotted Gun' statue. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Ringo Starr with his 'Knotted Gun' statue. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
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A CITY artist has every reason to be Starr struck following his latest commission. Charlie Anderson was spotted by chance painting a window pane as part of a project.

And as a result, was paired with former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr for an anti-gun campaign.

“He’s the most famous person I’ve ever worked with,” said Charlie, 24, from Tollcross.

“Once I found out about the job I just knuckled down and put the hours in at the studio.”

He was working on a different project in London when a PR officer from the the Non Violence Foundation spotted his work and asked him to join the appeal for a worldwide end to gun crime, which features metre-high statues showing a gun with its barrel tied in a knot.

Starr was brought in because of his association with bandmate John Lennon, who was shot dead 31 years ago this week – and Charlie was enlisted to work with him.

The artist, who has a studio in Dalry, said: “Ringo spent a bit of time drawing an image on to a gun template of how he’d like the statue to look.

“It was really expressive and psychedelic, he’d obviously taken a lot of time over it. It was up to me then to take that from his drawing and paint it on to the statue.

“He told me he was happy with the end result. It was quite pressurising working with someone like that, it was so expressive you couldn’t just copy it exactly, but then I didn’t want to change it too much either.”

The Edinburgh College of Art graduate met the music icon on Thursday at the launch of the statues.

He has also met and worked with boxers Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton on the project, adding that he was pleasantly surprised by their artistic talents.

But it was the union with Starr that the artist most enjoyed.

“I was trying to take some photos of him but they were all blurred because I was so nervous,” he said.

“I was trying to recreate the sheer amount of colour he had managed to get on the page, so it was just about building layer upon layer of different colours.”

The artist – who worked at George Watson’s College for a year after graduation – hopes this project will help him expand his work to London and Los Angeles.

“That’s what I’m aiming for. Edinburgh’s a great place to be and there’s a lot of things up and coming,” he said. But I’d love to work in Los Angeles as well.”

At the launch of the statue, Starr spoke of his feelings on gun crime, recalling the night he learned of his friend’s death.

“I think it should be that if you’re caught with a gun it should be a higher sentence than they get now,” he said.

“It was a bad day. But it was a bad day because someone took one of these and shot John.”