Jack Vettriano, the popular Scottish artist, whose show opens at the Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum today, is not a man of politics.
He divides his time between his homes in Fife, London and Nice, but he is not considering moving back to Scotland just so he can vote Yes.
He would not be drawn, either way, when I asked him about independence a couple of weeks ago. He likes Alex Salmond and, indeed, the First Minister is thanked in the show's lavish catalogue. But he would add no more. And like him, many Scottish or Scotland-based artists and creative workers have yet to say anything about next year's vote, and will not do so.
Some are more vocal. Whatever your thoughts on the independence referendum, the National Collective, slogan "Artists and creatives for Scottish independence", and its many supporters, is an impressive exercise in momentum-building, advocacy, organisation, and, for some, inspiration. In the cultural/political sphere, one can only see its membership and, perhaps, clout, burgeoning in the coming year.
It has provided a forum for some articulate thoughts about Scotland and its possible future. One wonders, too, whether it represents the foundation of something new in Scotland, and long-needed, a collective, grassroots voice for and from the artistic world not tethered to existing institutions. One also wonders, if the vote is No, for example, what it could become in the long-run.
But many artists, writers, screenwriters, playwrights, sculptors, dancers and singers, poets, and authors are not attached to the group; nor want to be. Artists (and I acknowledge this is a sweeping statement) can be instinctively attracted by the new and the novel, the groundbreaking and the experimental, the fresh, the transformative and the provocative. But this inclination does not always translate into the delicacies of personal lives, and, especially, politics. Many of the artists I talk to are not automatic Yes voters. But it is also interesting that so far few artists or writers have come out boldly as No voters or campaigners - barring bestselling author CJ Sansom.
One wonders if that might change with the production by the National Theatre of Scotland next year, The Great Don't Know Show, or as the vote nears. Also, many in the cultural world are not particularly defined by their politics, even with such a momentous topic as independence. Many move in a working world where borders mean little and the idea of nation even less. Others are grateful for, and heavily involved in, the UK-wide cultural economy (such as film makers, for example) and wonder what an independent Scotland would mean for UK-wide support networks.
Some more radical souls inherit their politics from an internationalist, socialist viewpoint, and find "nationalism" (if not independence) a difficult word and concept. One very cutting-edge artist I met is a defiant No. One reasonably traditional artist is a decided Yes. Artists, like everyone else, need to hear more of the arguments. More detail please, I often hear, is the phrase. It would be a mistake of the Yes campaign, or the SNP, with a year to go to the ballot, to think the cultural vote is in the bag.
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