Donnie Munro was born in Uig Isle of Skye, the youngest of three children. Born into a crofting family, he was a native Gaelic speaker, spending his childhood between the family home in the village of Portree, the island’s main centre, where he attended school, and the family’s croft in the small village of Treaslane, in the Northwest of the Island. Munro considers himself to have been very fortunate in having experienced that very traditional crofting life at a time when Gaelic Language and Culture remained very naturally embedded in the fabric of daily family and community life and became the language which so informed his formative years.
During his year at Moray House, Munro, along with some former school friends from Portree High School, formed the, now famous, and iconic Scottish Rock Band, Runrig. A long and highly successful international career and a string of internationally successful albums were to follow which would see Runrig take their Gaelic influenced rock music out across the world, becoming regulars in the UK and European Albums and Singles Charts with regular appearances on the UK’s iconic Top of the Pops, succeeding in taking the first ever Gaelic song into the UK top twenty.
Throughout his music career, however, Munro continued to paint and in the early 1990’s, whilst Rector of the University of Edinburgh, Munro began exhibiting work with the Scottish Gallery. The Scottish Gallery holds a very special place in the artist’s heart, as it was from Aitken Dott and Sons of Edinburgh (which became the Scottish Gallery) that Munro, as an eleven-year-old child, received his first set of Oil Paints, a special Christmas present from his parents.
The artist said, I will never forget the arrival of that beautifully wrapped brown paper box with the name Aitken Dott stamped on its side and, since that time, I have held a great affection for the Scottish Gallery. I visited the Gallery many times as a student, seeing many outstanding exhibitions there over the years and my being invited to exhibit with the Gallery felt very special indeed and like a bit of a homecoming for me. To now be invited to exhibit a group of paintings in the Gallery at the same time as work by one of my own heroes of Scottish Painting, Sir William Gillies, is an honour and a privilege beyond my wildest dreams.