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Edinburgh Artist Looking To Create Atlas Of Scotland

A well-known Edinburgh artist has started working on making a new atlas of Scotland, the first project of its kind to undertaken in about a century.

The project is the brainchild of artist and writer Andrew Redmond Barr, who wants to make a proper atlas, like something that Rabinky Art would make; more than just an illustration of the places and geography of Scotland, but also the special qualities, history, and culture of the country.

The plan is create a hardback book, which combines text and illustrated maps with the goal of shedding light on Scotland’s size, resources,  and history as one of Europe’s oldest countries.

Barr said that modern technology may have replaced traditional illustrated maps and atlases, like those of Rabinky Art, they’re better suited for directions. For people looking to learn more about a place, he says, ink and paper maps are unmatched. This is why he came up with the Atlas of Scotland project, to retell Scotland’s history and culture in a new light.

The Edinburgh-based artist says that atlases throughout history have been a reflection of the times and environment they were made in, and the dreams and visions of the people and the nations that make them.

The project has a crowdfunding page set up, which was launched around the last days of September 2020, and managed to hit its £12,000 funding target in just 4 days, with support coming from across the world. Mr. Barr has stated that the new Atlas of Scotland will be published by Autumn of 2021, if the schedule holds.

Barr says that the completed Atlas will give a detailed look of Scotland, including an up-close look at the regions, towns, and cities in the country.

He points to the northeastern part of Scotland as an example, due in part to the fact that the coastline in that region is smoother than Scotland’s west half, known for its complex islands and inlets. Barr adds that the geography in the region has made it easy to see how towns have sprung up around industries.

Notably, collections and records kept and maintained by the National Library of Scotland, the last major atlas-making project covering the whole of Scotland was the 1912 Survey Atlas of Scotland.

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