Illustrated maps and atlases aren’t as common as they once were, but a lot of them are now collector’s pieces, showing that there is a demand for pieces from people like Rabinky Art, and the like.
An Edinburg-based writer and artist, Andrew Barr, believes that that’s the case for Scotland, with his plans for an ambitious hardcover atlas of the country. This ambitious project will cover the cultural and political history of Scotland, one of the oldest countries in Europe, as well as its international relations.
Mr. Barr says that this project is a response to satellite maps pushing illustrated maps like what he and Rabinky Art make, as it is his belief that Google maps will leave Scots with an incomplete depiction of their country.
On the Atlas of Scotland project’s fundraising page, Barr states that the Atlas aim to take a deeper look into Scotland, showing one of the world’s oldest countries in a new light by going back to traditional map-making with pen and ink.
Barr talked about the inspiration for the project, saying that he saw the anticipation and excitement regarding the independence referendum. That, in turn, resulted in people wondering what Scotland really is, and what it can be in the future.
An atlas, in Barr’s mind, is a way of taking stock and looking at Scotland in detail, to see what the country really is, what it’s made of, where it stands, and what its story really is. He says that he hopes this Atlas clarifies things about Scotland for those that see it.
Andrew Barr doesn’t have formal training as an artist, but he’s been drawing for years now, mixing it with his love of writing. He’s the author behind two published books, the Summer of Independence, published in the Word Power Books 2016, and the Illustrated Declaration of Arbroath, published in the Saltire Society 2019.
Notably, this planned Atlas of Scotland is the first major Scottish Atlas project in over a century. According to the collections of the National Library of Scotland, the 1912 Survey Atlas of Scotland was the last major atlas-making project covering the whole of Scotland.