PHOTOS of Burns suppers sourced from around the world have been used by artist David Mach to create a collage celebrating the global reach of Scotland’s national bard.

The Flying Haggis artwork was commissioned by the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies to mark the end of a two-year project researching the history of Burns suppers and mapping them in the 21st century.

It features between 30 and 40 of around 350 images sourced by the university from people who submitted photos of their own Burns Night events in 2021, many of which were held virtually due to the pandemic. The artwork will be officially launched during a virtual reality event on Burns Night, at which people will also be able to experience the story and legacy of the Burns supper “as never seen before”.

The National:

Featuring a virtual trip to Alloway Auld Kirk as Burns imagined it in Tam o’ Shanter, Mach, known for artworks including the Big Heids alongside the M8 motorway in North Lanarkshire, said: “You’ll see Flying Haggis is not a stiff affair.

“I wanted to make a Burns Night that Robert Burns himself would want to attend.

“It’s a collage but acts more like a film on pause, press play and the action will carry on. Even the room joins in the extravagance of the night. There’s an almost orgiastic celebration, Scottish to kick off but soon joining together all the liberal, freethinking, independent, romantic spirits of the world.”

The Flying Haggis will be the centrepiece of a virtual reality exhibition created as part of the Burns Beyond Reality collaboration between the university and immersive learning platform Edify.

It will go on display in the university’s new Advanced Research Centre building in Glasgow in the coming months.

Dr Pauline Mackay, a lecturer in Robert Burns studies who has been leading with Edify on the creation of Burns Beyond Reality, said: “It really is Burns for the 21st century.”

Register for the virtual event at