New Rabbie Burns mural celebrates the poems and songs of national bard

Burns' first publication was in Kilmarnock and the mural commemorates his links to the East Ayrshire town.

The finishing touches are being applied to a new mural in East Ayrshire that celebrates the poems and songs of Rabbie Burns.

The country’s national bard is perhaps most associated with Alloway, where he was born, but the mural in Kilmarnock commemorates his links to the town that set him on a path to global stardom.

Artist Michael Corr said: “Whenever you search for Rabbie Burns it’s always that classic (Alexander) Nasmyth portrait to the side, beautiful painting, but I felt it was important to try and have a new perspective.

“Everyone in Kilmarnock has been brilliant, really supportive, really welcoming. It’s sad that it’s almost coming to an end because I have really enjoyed it.”

The project came about through a collaboration between the Burns Federation, East Ayrshire Council and the local business association, who are all hoping it can draw more visitors to the town centre.

Burns’ first publication was in Kilmarnock and the new mural adorns a gable end beside the Burns Federation building in the town.

Jean Abdulrahim from the World Burns Federation told STV News: “Burns was very down on his luck until he got his first break, and that was getting his poetry printed at Kilmarnock by John Wilson.

“And if hadn’t been John Wilson, well the rest would have been – not history.”

East Ayrshire Council leader Douglas Reid added: “Obviously like every other town centre we’re struggling because of the change in retail habits but Kilmarnock has got a great depth in terms of culture and history.

“We’ve got so many new businesses coming to the area and new artists who are showing their work.”

The mural comes just in time for Killie Burns Summer Festival – this time with an added splash of colour.

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