A SCOTTISH writer is marking the one-year countdown to the Declaration of Arbroath’s 700th anniversary with behind the scenes photographs from his book.

As previously reported in The National, Andrew Redmond Barr is to release The Illustrated Declaration of Arbroath to coincide with celebrations of the document’s 700th anniversary in 2020.

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Yesterday he released behind-the-scenes images from his “Declaration Studio” in Edinburgh (which has been set up at the headquarters of cultural body the Saltire Society) as well as a short teaser film online.

Barr said: “This will be the first book to take a creative rather than an academic approach to the Declaration of Arbroath [pictured]. I hope it shows Scottish history in a new light and brings one of our most ancient artefacts to life in new and unexpected ways.

“The process of making this book has been one of trying to match illustrations to the text of the declaration. At first this seemed like a difficult task, but I soon began to realise the declaration was quite rich in its use of imagery and there was plenty there to work with.

“So many of Scotland’s cultural and political ideas can be traced back to the contents of the declaration. It’s one of the earliest foundation stones of Scottish nationhood, and I can’t wait to share it with others, renewed and reinvented.”

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Sarah Mason of the Saltire Society said: “We are very proud that the Saltire Society can support creatives like Andrew Barr as they contribute to a wider cultural conversation and celebrate the history and culture of Scotland.”