Andrew Redmond Barr is a writer and artist from Scotland. His work aims to make Scottish history and culture more accessible through a variety of unique creative projects.
Andrew is the author of 3 illustrated books, the latest being a hand-drawn Atlas of Scotland. The Atlas aims to present a vision of a country which is historically and culturally distinct, but which also has deep-rooted connections with the histories and cultures of the wider world beyond.
Andrew has worked in collaboration with national institutions such as the Saltire Society, the National Records of Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Literary Review and the James Hutton Institute.
His work has appeared in a number of publications including The National, The Scotsman, The Courier, The Press & Journal, The Sunday Post, History Scotland, The Herald, the Scottish Review of Books, The Scots Independent, The Big Issue, BBC Radio Scotland, and a number of local papers across Scotland.
2011 – 2014
In 2011 Andrew was one of the co-founders of National Collective, a group of volunteers which led the arts movement for a Yes vote in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. The experience culminated with a month-long Yestival tour of Scotland in July 2014. National Collective was awarded second place in The List magazine’s Hot 100 cultural influences of the year, and was widely credited for engaging younger generations in the question of Scotland’s future.
In 2016 Andrew released his first book, Summer of Independence: Stories from a Nation in the Making, telling the inside story of the cultural campaign for Scottish independence. The book featured in The Scottish Review of Books’ Picks of 2016, and remains one of the only referendum accounts to be published from a grassroots perspective.
In 2017 Andrew held his first solo exhibition, Freedom Come All Ye, exploring ideas of nationhood and determination at the Free Space Gallery on Edinburgh’s Easter Road.
In 2018 Andrew held his second solo exhibition, Pith & Power, at the Saltire Society headquarters in Edinburgh. The exhibition used illustration to explore Robert Burns’s relationship with politics and power. The show launched with a cultural celebration on Burns Night and lasted for 2 months.
In 2019 Andrew released his second book, The Illustrated Declaration of Arbroath, celebrating the 700th anniversary of one of Scotland’s most important historical artefacts. The book was launched at the National Records of Scotland in November, just ahead of the 700th anniversary year in 2020.
In 2020 Andrew played a key role in the Declaration of Arbroath’s 700th anniversary celebrations, planning a nationwide tour and working alongside others to organise a major cultural event in Arbroath. With events cancelled due to coronavirus, Andrew was involved in a number of digital projects to help raise awareness, and also worked in collaboration with the National Records of Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland to create an illustrated educational pack for schools.
In 2021 Andrew launched his third book, the Atlas of Scotland, at the St Andrew’s Day Concert at Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral. The Atlas uses hand-drawn maps and illustrations to tell Scotland’s story, including Scotland’s historic international connections. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon praised the Atlas for ‘putting Scotland on display like never before.’
In spring 2022 Andrew became artist in residence at the Schotse Huizen (Scottish Houses), a local museum in the historic Dutch port of Veere. The town was the Kingdom of Scotland’s primary trading gateway to Europe for several hundred years. Andrew carried out research into the town’s historic Scottish community, and wrote about his experiences in a three-part travel diary for The Sunday National. The project was supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.