In early June we have been lucky enough to visit Jupiter Artland near Edinburgh. We were staying nearby in resort hotel and this was a day trip. We were also very lucky having great weather, so we really enjoyed our time spent outside with lush greenery and thought-provoking art.
About Jupiter Artland
For Jupiter Artland is an outdoor art gallery: a collection of curated, contemporary art pieces. Mainly sculptures, but also interactive and mixed media. 30 permanent and unique site-specific sculptures from artists Phyllida Barlow, Christian Boltanski, Charles Jencks, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and others, as well as a seasonal programme of carefully curated exhibitions and events from a plethora of artists, both emerging and established.
Where is Jupiter Artland?
It’s located outside Edinburgh, about 30-35 minutes drive, our local taxi driver had however no idea this is existed and never have heard about it. GPS to the rescue. It’s set over 100 acres meadow land. It’s absolutely glorious there when the sun is out and everything is lush green.
What is there to see?
A lot. No, I mean a LOT. It was thorough and immense experience for me. Jupiter Artland is a winner of numerous awards – we can see why. Some of them are not children friendly at all though, some of them are great fun for kids. Surrounded by wonderful nature and even some cute farm animals.
Cells Of Life
Undoubtedly, my favourite in Jupiter Artland. It took 7 years for the landscape artist to complete this project. The project includes eight landforms and a connecting causeway. It is based on the concept of the life of a cell, as well as the cell division process called mitosis. The photos I took are good enough but in reality it is an absolutely magnificent piece of art.
The kids enjoyed running up the spirals and down. an I enjoyed the views from the top of some of the landforms.
This was the first art installation we went to see, and although attendants told us at the gate there are not so children-friendly objects, like this, by the time I realised this was one of them, they were inside Mimi’s upside-down shop. It’s not massively scary though and they didn’t understand it so they just walked in looked around and walked out.
Combining animation and architecture, upside mimi ᴉɯᴉɯ uʍop takes the form of an abandoned high-street shop with dolls. The abandoned shop filled with toys and the a cartoon featuring the main character is playing on a big screen once entering the shop. The walls are covered with the same mimi dolls boxed that nobody buys anymore. Mimi is a darkly arch character for our generation who invites us into the topsy-turvy world of end-game capitalism; a 21st century fairy-tale about the experiences of young adults and consumerist desire.
A permanent, commissioned piece in Jupiter Artland is a beautiful pool tiles installation (we’ve been told off not to step on them! Fair enough.) It’s a fully functioning pool (and they plan to open it for “swimming” sessions this summer). It’s joyful, spirited and whimsical, somehow a mix of Miro and Emilio Pucci to me. Wonderful.
Love Bomb was specially commissioned for Jupiter Artland. The 12-metre-high orchid is the largest work from the series of sculptures. We found this fascinating – especially the children.
Probably my favourite, along with The Cell of Life. For the first sight, it seemed really creepy and haunting. The Weeping Girls are actually sculptures of tantruming little girls, little figures dressed up as sculptures in positions of high drama which animate the landscape they inhabit. Not knowing the story behind them however, they struck you with more than just a melancholic look: they are proper haunting, like they can come alive at any moment and unleash the anger and sorrow trapped their little wooden fists. They are also just a little smaller than they would be in real life which also adds to the creepiness. Nevertheless, they will not let you to erase them from your memory for days to come.
Landscape With Gun And Tree
The sheer size of the shotgun (as if a giant left it there, propped against the tree) is quite shocking. It’s provocative and makes you feel slightly uncomfortable. Reminds us of the human presence, the power of the land and the brooding latent violence of a cocked shotgun.
The Rose Walk
A jaw droppingly beautiful installation, one of the permanent sights. Two ten-metre-high pavilions, one Gothic and the other in a Chinoiserie style are connected by a twenty-five-metre-long rose garden. These imposing and elaborate follies simultaneously act as entrance to, and ornamental framing of, the narrow promenade.
I guess this installation was even more popping out. with the background so fresh spring green. What does one see? The web or the world through the web’s eye?
Firmament is a single ‘expanded field’ sculpture constructed from 1019 steel balls held in the space by 1770 steel elements of different lengths, welded together to create a non-regular, polygonal structure whose form dissolves and resolves in space.
Signpost To Jupiter
This signpost is placed along the parkland drive and is a reminder of the planet as opposed to the god Jupiter is named after.
The cafe also looked pretty awesome but we could not get inside as it was a huge queue, probably because of Covid-19 social distancing rules of late, so I just took a photo from the entrance. But hopefully we will go back one day – we have an excuse!