Auld Lang Syne Exhibition

The Foundation was a major sponsor of the ‘For Auld Lang Syne’ exhibition displayed at the Art Gallery of Ballarat from 11 April to 27 July 2014. The exhibition explored and celebrated the cultural and political impact of the Scots on the development of the Australian Nation by bringing together works of art, historical portraits , memorabilia and original documents drawn from collections in Australia an overseas. The project was not purely an art exhibition; it also had an extensive schedule of public programs, which provided different opportunities for public engagement including art workshops, lectures and talks, poetry events, a Ceilidh and celebrations with traditional Scottish cuisine.

Indoor and outdoor Scottish musical events were also a feature and the show opened as a component of the National Pipe Band competitions. All the public programs were well subscribed to and the exhibition was successful in attracting over 18,000 visitors, including nearly 2,000 students. Being well placed within the school year the exhibition presented a comprehensive education program at both primary and secondary levels, which proved popular. As part of the exhibition the ‘For Auld Lang Syne’ catalogue was produced under the supervision of the Ballarat Gallery Director Gordon Morrison as a permanent record of the project.

The catalogue included a forward by HRH the Prince of Wales, and essays by eight leading scholars on aspects of the Scottish presence in Australia. In its own right, the publication is an important document, reinforcing the contribution and influence Scots have had on the settlement and development of Australia. Another feature of the exhibition was the design of a special tartan by the gallery specifically for the occasion, which has been registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans as the Ballarat Tartan.