Tam’s tale re­turns as Burns-in­spired art goes on show

The Herald - - NEWS - JODY HAR­RI­SON

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.

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