Tam’s tale returns as Burns-inspired art goes on show
THEY were painted to celebrate the Robert Burns poem Tam O’Shanter and came complete with witches, warlocks and the odd Cutty Sark.
After years under wraps, the complete collection of artist Alexander Goudie’s paintings on one of the Bard’s most famous poems can finally be seen again as its creator intended.
For only the second time since the 54 larger-than-life artworks were created, the entire collection is being exhibited to the public together, this time right in the heart of Burns country.
The paintings were saved for the nation through a collaboration between the Fraser Foundation, the TB Hunter Charitable Trust and the Souter Foundation, and given to South Ayrshire Council.
The entire collection is being put on show at Rozelle House and the Maclaurin Art Gallery in Alloway, to coincide with the 258th anniversary of the poet’s death later this month. People will be able to see it until mid-March.
Opening the exhibition yesterday, Mr Goudie’s son, Lachlan, a respected artist, said: “I’m enormously proud of the series of paintings that my father created, inspired by the poem Tam O’Shanter.
“When viewed together the collection of images brings the poetry of Burns to life. The paintings are full of gothic drama, hysterical comedy, a sprinkle of sermonising and a dash of lust.
“But perhaps most importantly, for me, each canvas is an example of my father’s mature and sophisticated artistry.”
Councillor Bill Grant, economic development, tourism and leisure portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “Alexander Goudie was inspired by Burns to create some of his finest works, and to have Tam O’Shanter on display is a triumph. Given the size and scale of the collection, this is a massive undertaking and I am delighted they can be seen together once more.
“With Burns Night fast approaching and 2017 the Year of Scotland;s History, Heritage and Archaeology, this exhibition is the ideal way to celebrate the timeless works of Burns and out rich tradition of storytelling.”
Alexander Goudie was born in Paisley, and studied at Glasgow School of Art. He was famous for his portraits, with Billy Connolly and the Queen. He died in 2004, aged 70.
COLOURFUL: Alexander Goudie’s son, Lachlan, beside one of his father’s paintings inspired by Burns’s epic poem Tam O’Shanter. Picture: Kirsty Anderson
SELF-PORTRAIT: Artist Alexander Goudie.