Edinburgh’s JUPITER ARTLAND is Infinitely More Than Just the Fifth Rock From The Sun, it’s a Universe of Artful Miracles and Thought-Provoking Blessings.

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Image Credit Cecile Paul

 

Interactive Sculpture on the grandest scale Cells of Life landforms and lakes by Charles Jencks

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The Fantastic Bonnington House, centre-piece of Jupiter Artland

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Cinderella’s stiletto lost in the Ballroom? Carmen Miranda sculpture by Joana Vasconcelos

Just under 10 miles west of Edinburgh, cozily nestled in a spectacularly lush pocket of rural Scotland and ensconced in the grounds of the fetching 19th century Bonnington House sits an emerald jewel in the crown of bonnie Scotland. Aptly named after the largest planet in our solar system – the planet of ‘miracles and blessings’ – this magical sculpture park meandering through a vast 120 acres of epic woodland and meadows more than lives up its poignant connotations.

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A long way up!

Image Credit Cecile Paul
The ancient doocot presides over the tapestry-like, Imagine What You Desire garden by Nathan Coley

Image Credit Cecile Paul
The Maltese Cross centre-piece of the Imagine What You Desire garden by Nathan Coley

Image Credit Cecile Paul
The courtyard at Jupiter Artland, The Steadings, Bonnington House

On an outrageously spectacular sunny summer’s day one August we decided to take a drive out to the quaint hamlet of Wilkieston to go see for ourselves what all the fuss was about. As any Scotsman would gladly tell you, when the weather is on one’s side in Scotland, it easily beats just about anywhere in the world for beauty. It was indeed on such a lucky day that we had the pleasure to experience Edinburgh’s best kept secret. We were given a map that located the artworks en route, with the instruction, ‘whether you opt to go clockwise or anti-clockwise, is, your choice’.

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Image Credit Cecile Paul
The Creative Art Hut at the Steadings

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A map to the sculptures at Jupiter Artland

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Swirling Landforms inspired from Prehistoric earthworks by Charles Jencks

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Mounds morphing through the landscape by Charles Jencks

We opted for neither, discarded the map and proceeded to follow our gut into the wild. And boy, were we in for an enchanting walk through Mother Nature … she kept delivering ‘miracles and blessings’ around every corner of this diverse landscape. It was not unlike a mini universe we found ourselves in, proceeding through entirely man-made, controlled space-age sculptural mounds and precisely contoured water features by artist Charles Jencks, that soon unraveled to become wild and untamed forests with ancient witchy trees reminiscent of scenes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth as one kept wandering. Although we didn’t meet the Three Wayward Sisters there, we did have the pleasure of the acquaintance of Laura Ford’s Five Weeping Girls with their distressed postures and wild hair.

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Image Credit J Haeske
Weeping Girls by Laura Ford

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Image Credit J Haeske
Weeping Girls by Laura Ford

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Image Credit Cecile Paul
Xth Muse by Ian Hamilton Finlay

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The Temple of Apollo by Ian Hamilton Finlay

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Supporting the Temple of Apollo!

We saw many other wonderous creations, for example Cornelia Parker’s Gun and Tree – a mammoth shotgun leaned casually against the trunk of an ancient tree, Shane Waltener’s Over Here giant knitted spider’s web with sunlight shimmering through the sports and Phyllida Barlow’s Quarry (2018) – a trio of sculptures that comprise of two dystopian concrete pillars with sky frames that stand adjacent to a mountainous boulder, all intrinsically comfortable in the landscape they inhabit.

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Cornelia Parker’s Landscape With Gun and Tree

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Quarry, 2018, by Phyllida Barlow.

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Over Here, a giant knitted spider’s web by Shane Waltener

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The Stone House by Andy Goldsworthy

Jupiter Artland is the brainchild of art collectors Nicky and Robert Wilson who own, fund and inhabit the grounds. The phenomenal sculpture collection was established in 1999 and in 2015 two new wings were created to house indoor gallery space. Over the past two decades Jupiter Artland has attracted extraordinary global talent like Nathan Coley, Charles Jencks, Antony Gormley, Phyllida Barlow, Christian Boltanski, Helen Chadwick, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Anya Gallaccio, Andy Goldsworthy, Anish Kapoor, Tania Kovats, Cornelia Parker and Joana Vasconcelos.

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The Stone House with its bedrock interior

Image Credit Cecile Paul
A doorway to the bedrock, The Stone House by Andy Goldsworthy

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Firmament by Anthony Gormley

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Gateway Pool Project by Joana Vasconcelos

Joana Vasconcelos, a Portuguese sculptor, wowed the world of art with her giant metallic stiletto named Carmen Miranda (2008) confidently parked in front of the manor house to celebrate Jupiter Artland’s tenth birthday. A piece like her unforgettable Red Independence Heart (2005), an immense blood red rotating piece seemingly made from precious jewels hanging from the ceiling in the Jacobean ballroom, shimmers as it rotates to a Portuguese soundtrack. Up close one realizes the piece is in fact constructed from 1000 pieces of plastic cutlery, bound together by filigree.

Image Credit Wallpaper Magazine. Photography: Ruth Clark. Courtesy of Jupiter Artland
Coração Independente Vermelho (Red Independent Heart), 2005, by Joana Vasoncelos

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Photo Credit Jupiter Artland
Zobop floor by Jim Lambie

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Plastic Cups by Tara Donovan

Image Credit Cecile Paul
Plastic Cups by Tara Donovan

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The Gothic Pavilion, The Rose Walk by Pablo Bronstein

Image Credit The Times
The Cells of Life Earthwork by Charles Jencks

 

For more Information on Jupiter Artland and the artists:

Jupiter Artland

Nathan Coley

Charles Jencks

Antony Gormley

Phyllida Barlow

Christian Boltanski

Helen Chadwick

Shane Waltener

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Anya Gallaccio

Andy Goldsworthy

Anish Kapoor

Tania Kovats

Cornelia Parker

Joana Vasconcelos

Some of the artworks are permanent installations, others are seasonal. Be sure to catch the visiting attractions!

Jupiter Artland reopened for the summer season on 30th April 2022 and will remain open until September 2022, five days a week 10am – 5pm. For more information on tickets and directions, see:

https://www.jupiterartland.org/visit-jupiter-artland/

Image Credit Leonore Scurlock
The oculus in the Temple of Apollo by Ian Hamilton Finlay

 

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