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article imagePhotographer Adrian McGarry–Venice, Scotland, independence, art Special

By Lesley Lanir     Mar 25, 2014 in World
Venice - Driven by Scotland's campaign for independence, over 2 million residents in Italy's Veneto region surrounding Venice voted in a poll on breaking away from Italy. Digital artist Adrian McGarry chats about Venice, Scotland, independence and art.
More than 2 million residents of Veneto, over 70 percent of those eligible to participate, voted in last week's online survey,'Veneto independence referendum.' According to reports from RT, nearly 90 percent of those taking part in the poll voted to break away from Italy. The poll, organised by local activists and independent parties, has no legal power and is not recognised by the Rome government but shows the desire of the people for a referendum and reveals that most voting participants believe in a new, independent Republic of Veneto.
Venice
Venice
Adrian McGarry
One of the first modern republics of the world, the Venetian Republic existed for over 1,000 years until it lost its independence to Napoleon in 1797. The Venetians' inspiration for such a poll is said to have come from Scotland’s campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum on Scottish independence to be held on 18 September, 2014.
Adrian McGarry  photographer and digital artist
Adrian McGarry, photographer and digital artist
Adrian McGarry
Digital artist and photographer Adrian McGarry spends a lot of time in Venice and has been there recently for the world famous Carnevale di Venezia. The talented artist and graphic designer also has Scottish roots.
Digital Journal asked Adrian about his feelings as an artist towards this lagoon city and the region's desire for independence and also about his views on the upcoming Scottish referendum.
I have travelled extensively and am fortunate to have visited Venice on a number of occasions. Venice is one of the most wonderful cities in the world. It has a magical charm that surrounds you with every step that you take.
The inspiration for artists and photographers is unparalleled and there are lots of opportunities to portray the mysterious and romantic soul of this enchanting city. Everywhere you turn there are picturesque canals that mirror elegant architecture. Winter is a great time to visit since there are less tourists and you can observe the local life without the throng of day trippers and sightseers.
Venice
Venice
Adrian McGarry
When you were there recently at the Carnival of Venice, famous for its masks and costumes, what was the atmosphere like?
Venice celebrates annually with the ‘Carnivale’. The party atmosphere builds over a two-week period and reaches a climax on the final weekend with a spectacular firework display above numerous floats and boats on the Grand Canal. There are plenty of processions along the streets and the canals during the two weeks of the event. Musical, theatrical and costumed balls are plentiful.
The Carnival of Venice
The Carnival of Venice
Adrian McGarry
This is an opportunity for people to show-off and strut their stuff as they wander the streets in the most flamboyant costumes. Photographic opportunities are everywhere. The weekends are very busy but mid-week is not too crowded and everyone is more than happy to pose for pictures.
Did you know there was going to be a poll aiming towards an official referendum on independence?
Yes, I was aware of the unofficial referendum taking place. At first I was a little surprised as I’ve got used to stories of true Venetians leaving the city either to find work elsewhere or the cost of living being too expensive to stay. I respect the arguments behind the vote and I am not surprised by the outcome to vote in favour.
Venice
Venice
Adrian McGarry
Would a visitor understand the Venetian need for independence or even take notice that a referendum was taking place unofficial or not?
I guess that most visitors to Venice would probably not be aware of the referendum. The typical tourist is probably mostly interested in gondola rides and having pictures taken with the pigeons in St Marks Square!
Venice
Venice
Adrian McGarry
Apparently the Venetian survey was fueled by the upcoming Scottish referendum, although you live in England, your name suggest you have Celtic roots.
Yes, my father was Scottish. He settled in England in the fifties and lived there until his death.
Any thoughts on the Scottish referendum on a vote for independence that will take place in September?
I respect the pride of heritage and the arguments raised for independence; however, I feel there seem to be uncertainties over currency, regulation and business as if not everything has been thoroughly thought through or maybe just not explained properly to the voter. The campaign hasn’t fully started yet, so I assume those essential points will eventually be explained with greater clarity.
From and artist’s point of view, Scotland is a beautiful country with an amazing amount of creative culture – there are numerous talented actors, artists, writers and musicians from Scotland. One thinks immediately of the Edinburgh Festival and that Glasgow was the first UK city to be named culture capital.
Digital Journal will be following up Adrian McGarry's points with an article on the Scottish campaign towards its September referendum on independence.
More about Adrian McGarry, digital artist, Venice, Photography, scottish independence