Argentinian artist Hyuro’s mural An affective bond can be found above the East Green lane between Carnegie Brae and The Green. According to the artists website the image, which features two individuals struggling with each other whilst joined together at the buttons of their shirts, is inspired by the union between Scotland and England.
As a commentary on the relationship between Scotland and England the work is fairly direct. The earthy colouring of the two figures joined clothing appears to represent the island the two countries occupy, this being what has kept the countries linked together throughout their history. The violent struggle between the two figures, representative of the political and cultural friction that has been present between the two nations over thousands of years as they have coexisted on a finite land mass. The closed nature of the space the work is placed in adds to the claustrophobic sense of the work as the two individuals are barely contained within the stretch of wall the mural is painted on. Less clear in meaning perhaps, is the blocking out of the two figures faces, by the hands of the other and in the case of the figure on the left by what could either be a black hood or simply block of black colour, possibly representative of censorship or some other denial of the individual’s personhood.
An affective bond is a more painterly composition than some of the other works in the Nuart Festival. Compared with other works of street art there seems a concerted effort in the work to not appear as strikingly out of place or as ‘stuck on’ as a work produced with a stencil or other pre-prepared means may seem. The works position requires the observer to view it from below, looking up from a narrow, damp and not particularly busy back lane. The darker shadowy tones and earthy colour palette put the work quite at home sandwiched between the jumbled granite of the back of Union Street tenements and the discoloured white of the 1970s built indoor market. One may consider how by placing the piece in a traditional back lane and by using a colour scheme harmonious with the surroundings allows the works theme of Scottish-English friction to appear ingrained in landscape of the city and more generally the Scottish cultural identity.