For only the second time in their history all of Alexander Goudie’s celebrated Tam o’ Shanter paintings in the South Ayrshire Council collection are on public display.
This landmark exhibition running until the middle of March at Rozelle House and the Maclaurin Art Gallery in Alloway, is a golden opportunity to see these iconic paintings up close and personal and all for free.
Painted in 1995 to mark 200 years since the death of Scotland’s most famous bard, the 54 larger than life paintings are acknowledged as among the very best Scottish narrative or illustrative works.
The collection is of such importance to the heritage of Scotland that in 1999 a consortium of three benefactors, The Fraser Foundation, the TB Hunter Charitable Trust, and The Souter Foundation saved the collection from being split up, and in partnership with South Ayrshire Council brought them home to Ayrshire.
Kept together, these important paintings are now part of the Council’s permanent collection.
It was a proud moment for Alexander Goudie’s son, Lachlan who opened the exhibition in memory of his late father.
A respected artist in his own right, he still finds the paintings inspirational:
He 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 canvass 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 the Tam o’ Shanter paintings on display is a triumph.
“Given the size and scale of the collection this was 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 our rich tradition of storytelling.”
The public exhibition officially opens on Sunday 15 January 2017 and will run until Sunday 12 March 2017.