Vibrant, playful and often filled with comic irony, Harti builds on the traditions of the Pop Art movement in his striking canvases. Aesthetically, his influences are wide-ranging, from vintage film posters to global icons in art, music and politics. Compositionally, however, Harti’s works are almost Baroque-esque in their heightened drama and theatricality.
This painting depicts an anachronistic cry for independence, as bitter tears of capitulation are running down Scotland’s beautiful cheeks. On the rights hand side of the painting, we see seminal Scottish personalities feeling honoured to be Scottish and proud of their triumph of will over sadness. Whoever has overcome his fear for failure has also triumphed over life. Could this be finally the right time for Scotland to become independent? Or in the spirit of togetherness, be united as one, in the quest to navigate towards a unified United Kingdom? You can feel the epileptic tension coming from these Scottish heroes. From the right we have Sir Walter Scott, historical novelist, poet, playwright, and historian, famous for Rob Roy and Ivanhoe; Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and philanthropist, famous for his steel company and the establishment of 3000 public libraries; David Livingstone, Protestant missionary martyr, working-class physician inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, advocate of British commercial and colonial expansion hence poster-child of Victorian Britain, and last but not least famous for the anecdote of Henry Morton Stanley finding Livingstone on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on 10 November 1871, greeting him with the now famous words "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" Livingstone responded, "Yes", and then "I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you"; Then we have the Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch, better known by its shorter title The Skating Minister by Henry Raeburn, probably Scotland's most famous painting; Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect, designer, water colourist and artist, famous for bringing Art Nouveau and Secessionism to Scotland; James Watt, inventor, mechanical engineer and chemist, famous for his Steam Engine built in 1776 which was fundamental to the changes brought by the industrial revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world; Sir Sean Connery, actor and producer, famous for being the first and incontestable best James Bond; Robert "Rabbie" Burns, poet and lyricist, famous for writing in the Scots language and his poem Auld Lang Syne which has become the quintessence of Hogmanay.
On the right of the painting, we see Scotland, draped in her national St Andrews Cross, looking over her shoulder, with watery eyes. Albeit Scotland is crying, we feel that hope is on the ascent thanks to the a fore mentioned strong supporters. A nation dies, when it no longer has the strength to invent new Gods, new myths and absurdities. Well, the same goes for creating a new state, right? The question remains, are we not stronger as one community after hundreds of years as a union or not. Frankly, one can retain Scottish roots and be British too, right? So, where are the new heroes? Why is everyone wallowing in doubt and in their ridiculous indecisiveness? Is hope becoming the negation of the mind? Is hope ending where everything and ends us? Has Scotland reached the frontiers of exhaustion? I can see petrified tears frozen in the high altitudes of desperation. Nevertheless, let the moment reabsorb your dreams. Dreams of union, and dreams of independence, but take a side. Don't be infected by incendiary war cries of independence nor by unionists’ contagious chants of germinative regression. Not choosing makes both ideas an ecstasy of non-meaning. Yes, the narrative would become an apotheosis of sterility. Even a soliloquy of the void. Just feel the thirst for immediacy, because secession during pandemics is self-harming, right?
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Country of Origin: United Kingdom