Saturday, 27 July 2013

Jupiter Artland

One day you get the worst of Scottish tourism (see my previous post) and then today we got the very best. We visited a hidden gem , called Jupiter Artland, on the south side of Edinburgh. Only 25 minutes or so from the centre it is hidden away in the landscape but once you enter the gorgeous gate you find yourself in a beautiful art park. The brainchild of the owners of Bonnington House the park was opened in 2009 and this was our first but most definitely not our last visit. The grounds are glorious, with beautiful paths, and art is discovered around every corner, all stunning. I can't do justice to it in this post but will just show you snapshots of what I personally loved much. We also missed part of the displays as there is a lot of walking involved and my mother is 80 so she was getting tired after a while. Above colourful art by Jim Lambie.

A stone set in the grass, and very reminiscent of the Little Sparta garden, which isn't surprising as it's part of an artwork (also comprising a bridge) by Ian Hamilton Finlay who made that garden.

This group of Weeping Girls is by Laura Ford, and I'm so impressed with this. They stand in the landscape and lean against trees and look like they were always meant to be there. In her artist statement Laura says: " The site I have picked at Jupiter has a quiet, melancholic atmosphere". The figures are hand carved from wax, then cast in found objects at the foundry. Patinated and painted bronze.

Just look at the amazing detail of the broderie anglaise of the dress.

This is the Xth muse, Sappho, who is the poetess of erotic lyricism and the symbol of love and beauty, also by Ian Hamilton Finlay.

This label is as far as I can tell an Abandoned Artwork, in other words not part of the display but left here by E.H. I left it in position and can't help but wonder who else will discover it as I only spotted it by chance. It reads:

The birches whispered

melodies enchant me

in the majestic vast

woodland I stroll

aimless and bewildered.

This landscape with gun and tree is by the artist Cornelia Parker and refers back to Gainsborough's painting Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, a couple posed under a tree. Mr. Andrews carried a shotgun under his arm and his wife sits with her hands in her lap. Here the gun (in cast iron and steel) has been left against a tree, possibly loaded. You can't see it on the picture, but the gun has beautiful engraved details.

Do I have to say I gasped when I saw this? It is a knitted web of 400cm diameter. Circular knitting needles were used with four strands of multi coloured fishing line as per Shetland lace. It's by the artist Shane Waltener and he says in his statement:

"Trapping the essence of the place and framing an ever changing imprint of it.

And there is a hole in the middle through which the trees appear.

Most people will be familar with the architectural work of Charles Jencks, based on the Cells of Life. This is the iconic image for Jupiter Artland, and deservedly so! I look forward to climbing those mounds some time and also to coming back in the winter in the snow and admire the outlines in white instead of today's green. He states: "A landform celebration of the cell as the basis of life".

This is a close-up of the stone arch in the surrounding water as you can just about see in the previous picture.

And finally this is the signpost to Jupiter by Peter Liversidge. His statement reads:

"The calculation takes into account that both the Earth and Jupiter are in elliptical orbits around the sun". A long way to travel, but fortunately Jupiter Artworks is a lot closer and I've only given you a glimpse of the beauty on offer.Other artists include Antony Gormley and Andy Goldsworthy but their art was mainly in the far flung parts of the park we didn't manage to visit.

There are regular exhibitions, the catering is situated in an airstream caravan and there are sheep, donkeys and even one alpaca to be petted in the fields. There is more art and a fabulous shop. My mother was kind enough to give me an very early birthday present in the form of a book called Close about the landscape art in Scotland. For those of you too far away for a visit, the books are all available from the website too. Not that I want to lead you into temptation!

For those of you within reach, I can't recommend a visit highly enough. I might even become a Friend so that I can visit whenever the mood strikes. It was quite busy today on a sunny and warm July saturday but I can imagine it's a place of quiet contemplation most of the time. Expect to see more pictures in the future.



Celia said...

Amazing finds, well photographed. The weeping girls are so simple yet so powerful, especially in that setting.

Freespiral said...

This looks the most astonishing place - I can't decide which artwork has amazed me most - the weeping girls, those incredible webs or that sensuous curving hill. Fantastic.

Lenna Young Andrews said...

what an amazing place Frieda. I would have loved to have walked there with you!

Linda said...

wow-what spectacular art!!! I especially love the weeping girl sculptures and that web-oh my - I can just imagine what it must have been like to come upon glad you and your mother are enjoying art and your time together!


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