Jupiter Artland is a unique experience in art and sculpture, and a great day out. The stunning sculpture park spans over a 100 acre land plot, and is also home to Bonnington House, an impressive Jacobean manor house, as well as an Art Gallery hosting permanent and changing exhibitions and commissions, and a cafe.
Shortlisted for the 2016 Museum of the Year Award last year, the space is a testament to its owners, both art collectors, who aimed to create a space for contemporary artists to showcase their work. So, what can you expect to see? As you arrive up the driveway, you'll notice the mighty 'Cells of Life,' consisting of 8 landforms and 4 lakes, constructed to represent the life of cells. Curated by Charles Jenks, this stunning landscape sculpture is a phenomenal use of land for art, and amazing to walk around.
You can head in any direction around the park, and you can expect to come across plenty of varied, surprising, and adventurous pieces of sculpture. From Laura Ford's 'Weeping Girls,' in which you'll come across 5 sculptures of little girls striking different poses, to the the contrarily huge 'Firmament' structure curated by Antony Gormely, constructed from 1019 steel balls held by 1770 steel elements, creating a mighty and impressive piece of work standing industrial and proud, a strong contrast to the landscape.
You can also experience sculpture with a more hands on approach. Check out Anya Gallaccio's 'The Light Pours Out Of Me,' a grotto of sorts that you can step down into, to find sparkling amethyst clad walls that encase you and offer a unique experience.
A fairly new addition to Jupiter Artland, Scottish artist and poet Alec Finlay's 'A Variety of Cultures' consists of newly planted apple and plum trees with oak ladders in close proximity, for visitors to climb up and experience the delights of the trees in blossom.
There's so much variety of work in the park, and each piece seems to perfectly fit into the landscape and either utilise, incorporate, or work with nature. A piece of work that perfectly captures the essence of Jupiter Artland and its bringing of the relationship between art and nature to the fore is Tania Kovat's 'Rivers.' A collection of over one hundred sealed jars containing distilled water from rivers around the Untied Kingdom, stored in a contemporary boathouse perched over a lake.
There are so many other permanent collections dotted around the land including 'Suck', a void in the land surrounded by a 17 feet square cage, 'Animitas', composed of around 200 Japanese bells hanging from plants which work to create music as they chime in the breeze, a Stone House, a giant spider style web, a beehive, and a clay tree wall. You'll find yourself wandering around the ground in awe for a good few hours, especially if the sun's out!
Once you've worked up your appetite, head to the cafe. Run by MILK, a renowned local cafe who have 5 premises around Edinburgh, and who pride themselves on sourcing local and seasonal produce to create delicious dishes all made on sight on the day. Last year I enjoyed a delicious latte in the outside seating area and was delighted to see a beautiful peacock strolling past.
As well as the permanent collections, Jupiter Artland also hosts changing exhibitions, events, and performances. This summer you can expect live performances such as 'The Rose Walk' performed by classically-trained dancers, curated by Pablo Brontein, as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. Exhibitions will include 'Primal Speech' by Liz Magic Laser, a mixed media installation, work by Michael Sailstorfer, and an overnight campout event hosted by an artistic duo who make wearable sculpture and costume. There's always loads going on so be sure to check out their website before you go. This is a magical day out, spent enjoying nature and art in a truly unique setting.