Let’s go to Jupiter! Sounds somewhat “interstellar”... If you are in Scotland, visit a fantasy world far-far away - Jupiter Artland, an incredible open-air sculpture park 30 minutes from Edinburgh city center. You can get there by car or by bus, just make sure you get a map or better download the Jupiter Artland app, because there are no signs on the road. You will know you are in Jupiter, when you drive through the magnificent main gates (titled “Sputnik”, and designed by the architect Benjamin Tindall), pass by the stone coppice, sheep, lamas, pigs a high laser painted orchid and that’s just to get to the parking area. Do you feel you are in another world?
You can get a map, but there is no set path that you must adhere to; choose your own route and enjoy the incredible site-specific works by the most significant international artists, including leading contemporary sculptors Nathan Coley, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Laura Ford, Anya Gallaccio, Andy Goldsworthy, Antony Gormley and many others. The walk usually takes 2 hours, but you can spend your whole day there. In September Jupiter Artland is open Thursday-Sunday 10 am to 5 pm, and we suggest you leave some time for the café, where you will find a delicious seasonal whole food menu incorporating lots of local and seasonal products. Note that it gets very busy at lunchtime during the weekends and picnics are not permitted on the Jupiter Artland grounds, but the food is worth the wait.
In the middle of woodland and meadows, you might notice a Jacobean manor – home to the collection's owners and the headquarters of the Jupiter Foundation. Robert and Nicky Wilson bought this 100-acre estate in 1999 and in 2009 Jupiter Artland opened its doors. Yes, the park is a private property, but the owners don't get anything from the entrance fee – every penny goes to the Foundation that offers free visits to schools, universities and educational organizations (in 5 years 14,500 schoolchildren have visited Artland free of charge). That is one of the reasons why we love Jupiter, another one – the grounds are very accessible to those with mobility issues. The Wilsons point out that education in art is one of the pillars of healthy society. In one of his interviews Robert Wilson – art professional at heart and a homeopath by profession – explained that art has healing properties just like homeopathy. Jupiter inspires visitors to reflect on artworks, read and write about art. Until October 15th anyone can submit original prose and poetry inspired by Jupiter Artland. The entries will be published online and a group of winners will be invited to a public reading of their work in November 2015.
Jupiter Artland is a perfect place for kids to fall in love with art and simultaneously not a place where adults or young couples can get bored. It is made to awaken everyone’s five senses: modern art sculptures to provoke, stunning views over Edinburgh to SEE, places to run around and climb to keep the kids busy, delicious freshly cooked food to TASTE and a nice gift shop to TOUCH. But most importantly: if you come there alone or even if you come with a group and want to meditate and relax by yourself, you can easily do so. The great thing about the park is that you realize how many people were there only on your way out. You can BREATHE the fresh air, walk slowly, see the artworks appear, enriching the landscape, and meet only a few people. If you come there when the weather is not that good you won’t regret it either. The trees will keep you safe from the wind, the views are romantic, the air is sweet, just don’t forget to take an umbrella and boots!
Last but not least - the exhibitions. Four artists have created great works, including New York-based Tara Donovan, established Scottish artist Samara Scott, inspiring Lauren Gault and Sara Barker, who’s large scale sculpture comprised of layered wood and steel is staying permanently.
In one of his interviews Robert Wilson said: “in Greek mythology Jupiter is the archetype for happiness, creativity and enjoyment”. And Jupiter Artland is the beautiful trinity, an amazing place to BREATHE and catch the last warm days near Edinburgh. In October the park will be closed for the season, opening its doors again in spring.