The American-Scottish Foundation® - Events

Oh wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursel's as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An' foolish notion.
- Robert Burns

'as others see us' a unique exhibition inspired by the works of poet Robert Burns

May 20 - 30, 2014

John David Mooney Foundation Gallery
114 West Kinzie Street, Chicago, IL 60654

featuring stunning portraits by award winning photographers
Tricia Malley Ross Gillespie 'broad daylight'

and following a successful run at
Pop International Galleries, New York

Members in Chicago on May 20th are invited by the Chicago Scots to join for the opening night reception at the John David Mooney Foundation Gallery. RSVP to

'as others see us'

To celebrate the year of Homecoming 2009 renowned Scottish photographers Tricia and Ross, collectively known as broad daylight, produced a major photographic exhibition to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Scottish poet Robert Burns.

The resultant 'as others see us' project features a series of contemporary photographic portraits capturing prominent Scots and adopted Scots who have each produced a small body of text as a response to their favourite Burns poem communicating their own view of the relevance of Burns today. The project's first phase was a phenomenal success in Scotland, Brussels and Sydney having being seen by over 320,000 people. Now, for 2014, it has entered its second phase and will be premiered at the recently opened Pop International Midtown gallery in the Citicorp Building 'The Atrium'.

The exhibition features 29 stunning portraits including; actors Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Ashley Jensen and Peter Capaldi, musicians The Proclaimers, Eddi Reader and Nicola Benedetti, writers Ian Rankin, Janice Galloway, Andrew O'Hagan and Denise Mina and artist Peter Howson as well as the First Minister of Scotland Mr. Alex Salmond MSP.

The Photographers
Tricia Malley and Ross Gillespie are two of Scotland's most creative, experienced and insightfulphotographers. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, they undertake a wide variety of commissions for clients both at home and abroad. They are perhaps best known for their stunning portraiture work having an instinctive eye for capturing the character and personality behind their subjects, they also have an enormous capacity for empathy with their sitters and as a result get well below the superficial. Tricia's background as a critically acclaimed documentary photographer combined with Ross's background as an illustrator has created this almost unique collaboration.

Many of their portraits are held in the permanent archives of The National Portrait Gallery, London and The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh as well as in private collections.

'broad daylight simply understands that a picture
can tell more than a thousand words.'

Artist Statement

"We both studied Robert Burns at school usually the best-known texts and of course everyone is aware of 'Auld Lang Syne' sung at Hogmanay and 'To a Haggis' at the Burns supper. It wasn't until we undertook this commission that we realised the volume of the work he produced, how beautiful it is and it's relevance today. All of our sitters knew at once which passage of Burns they wanted to choose and it was fascinating to see their interpretation of the text. Surely that is what Burns is about, speaking to each and every one of us. Wehope through these words and pictures viewers will rediscover or discover Burns for the first time - a man ahead of his time."

The 'as others see us' project is a celebration of Scottish culture reflecting and conveying through words and pictures the work of Burns whilst providing a showcase for homegrown talent.

'as others see us'
is the latest in a long line of 14 successful exhibitions, including 'Entrepreneurial Scotland – Portraits of Inspiration' which depicts some of Scotland's most influential power brokers. Tricia and Ross have exhibited extensively in the U.K. and Europe with several books having been produced to accompany their work. For several years they produced book jacket images for the best-selling crime novelist Ian Rankin and also worked with him on a major project Rebus's Scotland: a mixture of factual text and atmospheric photographs created an evocative and stunningly produced book highlighting the places that inspired Rankin's Rebus novels.

Supporters and sponsors of 'as others see us' are
: The Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, The National Galleries of Scotland, Pop International Galleries, The Leith Agency, Linn Products, Holyrood Magazine, Deloitte, Walkers Shortbread, The Burns Society of New York, Tommy Dreelan, Bowens and Hasselblad. broad daylight is affiliated as corporate members of the American-Scottish Foundation and is pleased to have their help and support.

 In association with The National Galleries of Scotland

'as others see us' - reviews

'as others see us' is a truly unique, innovative exhibition.' - The Scotsman
• 'Simple idea and beautifully evocative. This shows how the work of Robert Burns touches and inspires the lives of others.' - Amazon review

'as others see us' - comments

First Minister Alex Salmond said 'as others see us' was 'One of the highlights of the Homecoming Year'
• 'You remind me of the beauty and truth of Burns' poetry. Amazing portraits'- Becky Murray, Los Angeles USA
• 'Magical. Interesting. I feel I am leaving a better person. Thank you' - A. Felio, Portugal
• 'Very touching, meaningful and promising of the way others see us as humans. Photos are astonishing,brought back memories. Unforgettable. Thank you' - Kirsty Swan, Edinburgh
• 'What a wonderful monument to culture! Thank you so much Scotland' - Jose Marra, Spain
• 'Thank you for reminding me of my heritage and passion for justice, equality & recognition of our common humanity rooted in our land and our earth' - Annie Mitchell, Devon
• 'Sadly didn't understand Burns until this magnificent exhibition. Brilliant. Thank you...I'm glad I came' - Bill McMaiton, Canada
• 'Moving...' - J. Matsumi, Tokyo Japan

See the project and other work by Tricia and Ross at




Download the above information as a PDF here.


Sitter responses and extract from their chosen poem:

Brian Cox, Actor

Ae Fond Kiss…

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
   Ae fareweel, Alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
   Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee -

'Ae Fond Kiss' is one of the great romantic poems of all times written by the greatest lyric poet of all times. Burns' poem is not only rich in its language but even more rich and powerful in its rhythm structure. The very musical phrasing of the verse emphasises the poems pulsing interplay between heartbreak and frustration. Phrases such as 'but to see her was to love her love but her and love for ever'.

'Duh-Duh. Dee- ah.
Duh-Duh. Dee- ah.
Duh-Duh-Duh (beat)

Denise Mina, Novelist

Epigram to a Painter

Dear --, I'll gie ye some advice
   You'll tak it no uncivil:
You shoudna paint at angels man
   But try and paint the Devil.

To paint an angel's kittle wark,
   Wi' Nick there's little danger;
You'll easy draw a lang-kent face,
   But no sae weel a stranger.

This sums up so many things about Burns that I love and find forgotten: he's a messy hero, the best and tastiest kind. He wrote poems with the 'c' word in them, was a cheeky bugger, pass-remarkable, occasionally snide and sometimes bitter. Almost anyone who reads a lot of his work will find something in it to offend them, and challenging is exactly what ferocious honesty should do.

This scrap of a poem is a painful reminder that no matter how much artists hope to capture angels, most of us are really documenting our devils and then charging the public to peer at them.

For me the truly great thing about Burns is his accessibility. There's no glory in making a reader feel they'd be able to see your soul if only they'd done a degree or read the classics. Burns is as comprehensible as an advert.

There's an epigram in a synagogue in Prague which is so beautiful that I've copied it into every notebook I've had since. Written of a man long dead, it is a glorious claim that could be said of few but can be truly said of Burns:

'Here lies a man who understood the beauty of songs.'

Eddi Reader, Musician singer and songwriter

Lovely Polly Stewart

The flower it blaws, it fades, it fa's,
And art can ne'er renew it ;
But Worth and Truth eternal youth
Will gie to Polly Stewart.

May he whase arms shall fauld thy charms,
Possess a leal and true heart !
To him be given, to ken the Heaven
He holds in Polly Stewart !

While making an album of Robert Burns' music and words, I travelled millions of miles in his company. I searched gravestones for his friends and his companions; I stood in the rain outside doorways he had stood in; I drank in bars he had drunk in; I marvelled at the beauty he saw from the hills of Galloway and the Heads of Ayr and I am convinced that I was directed by him in my choices for the album. The book of his work that I was collecting from continually opened, Harry Potter–like, at the page that contained the words of the poem 'Willie Stewart' until the day it magically fell open at a poem called 'Polly Stewart'. Polly was Willie's daughter and I decided to insert it into my version of Willie Stewart. After getting loads of praise for my album, I went back to Dumfries to visit Burns' last home and found the lines to half the verses engraved on a back window in a hidden room. I felt his company once more.

Thank you, Robert. I love you x

Janice Galloway, Novelist

Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes

Ca' the yowes to the knowes
Ca' them whare the heather grows
Ca' then whare the burnie rowes,
My bonnie Dearie.

As I gaed down the water –side,
There I met my Shepherd-lad:
He row'd me sweetly in his plaid,
And he ca'd me his Dearie.

I'm from Ayrshire, so Burns has always loomed large - school competitions and the like did not put me off. I sang 'Ca' the Yowes' at Burns suppers as a teenager, sometimes as the only woman present, and loved the eerie quiet of the words before I really knew what it meant.

Songs to country girls are a stock in trade in folk song circles, but Burns' are special. That she is 'fair and lovely' is an unlikely thing, given the arduousness of minding yowes – out in all weathers from the age of ten, sleeping on the hillside, zero to meagre pay – but Burns imagines her as heroic, calling the sheep to the swollen waters of the burn in the evening to keep them safe, being his 'Bonnie Dearie'. And the melody, an almost modal minor tune, is completely haunting.

Sing it yourself, unaccompanied – it's the only way.

Neil Gillon, Ayshire farmer

To A Mouse, On turning her up in her Nest, with the Plough

Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me !
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e'e.
                                   On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
                    I guess an' fear !

I suppose it is being on the land myself and Burns being a man of the land that makes this poem stick with me. He was so connected with the land and I think that is something we have lost today.

Nowadays it is all about big tractors and 20 tonne machinery that costs thousands of pounds. In the past sheep farmers used to walk the hills. They heard the birds and watched the land under their feet changing. We don't have that everyday contact with the land anymore. Maybe that's where we are going wrong.

When Burns wrote, 'I'm truly sorry Man's dominion, Has broken Nature's social union,' well, we are still doing that today. But here's a man who wrote that 250 years ago before anyone was thinking about conservation or the environment. He was just a man doing a job and writing what he saw. But he was also asking us to look for ourselves.

Peter Howson, Artist

Holy Willie's Prayer

Yet I am here, a chosen sample,
To shew Thy grace is great and ample:
I'm here, a pillar o' Thy temple
                   Strong as a rock,
A guide, a ruler and example
                   To a' Thy flock. -

Burns was a romantic and I'm a romantic, not in that sickly sweet Mills and Boon fashion but romantic in the sense that we will always oppose the classicists and we will always question the establishment.

Burns intoxicated me; his legendary life of womanising, love making, drinking and debauchery just enthralled me. This was a man that could write such beautiful poems and yet could be so flawed and had endured such tragedy. I guess I recognised a kindred spirit in him; a tortured soul. He was simply a genius and this poem in particular is a work of genius.

It is satirical, funny, pokes fun at the establishment and is completely timeless - it could have been written today. Burns wasn't not a believer so he was not poking fun at God but he was poking fun at people's perceptions of God and at the hypocrisy that can exist within the church. I am also a Christian and I have fought bigotry all my life and what this poem did at the time was change perceptions and that is a remarkable thing.

Burns was a rebel and he made people think. That's what art is all about for me; making people question and open doors into another world. Burns ignited my spark and that's all I can ever hope to do to others.

From the Scottish Government:

Scottish Public Sector Team of the Year - CIPR Scotland PRide Awards 2012 . Marketing Team of the Year - Marketing Society Star Awards 2013

  • As Others See Us is a photography exhibition featuring  a series of stunning portraits of famous Scots themed around the works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns to celebrate the second Year of Homecoming 2014 during Scotland Week

  • Now in its second phase following the Year of Homecoming 2009 launch, As Others See Us is a project from renowned Scottish photographers Tricia Malley and Ross Gillespie collectively known as broad daylight. Tricia and Ross are perhaps best known for their award winning portraiture some of which is held by The National Portrait Gallery and The Scottish National Portrait Gallery. To view their work visit and follow on Twitter at @broaddaylightUK

  • The exhibition will be on display at New York’s Pop International Galleries during Scotland Week from 2nd April to 10th April and showcases 29 Scots and Scots at heart, including actors Alan Cumming, Peter Capaldi, Brian Cox and Ashley Jensen who were each asked to choose their favourite poem by Burns and respond to it.

  • One of many cultural events bringing Scottish creativity to the US stage, As Others See Us illustrates how Burns’ literary legacy is very much appreciated by Scots and honorary Scots around the world and his relevance today.

  • The 2014 launch of ‘As Others See Us’ will debut at Pop International Galleries Midtown, Citicorp Building in "The Atrium", 153 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022. Pop International Galleries specialises in Pop Art, Urban Art and art and photography that is derived from, or influenced by, popular culture.

  • As Others See Us is supported by: broad daylight, Bowens, Creative Scotland, Deloitte, Hasselblad, Holyrood Magazine, Linn Products, Margaret H Duffy, Pop International Galleries, Professor Walter Nimmo, The Burns Society of New York, The Leith Agency, The Scottish Government, Tommy Dreelan, Walkers Shortbread. In association with The National Galleries of Scotland. broad daylight is an affiliated corporate member of The American-Scottish Foundation.