Monday, 15 August 2011

Jupiter Artland - a hidden gem

I had not heard of Jupiter Artland until a couple of weeks ago.  It is a sculpture park set in the grounds of Bonnington House at Wilkieston just outside Edinburgh.

The result is really rather stunning and thought provoking, the works of art fusing effortlessly with the environment.

Part parkland, part woodland, this perfectly formed space enjoys spectacular views over West Lothian.  North to the hills and the unmistakable silhouettes of the Forth Bridges, south-east to the Pentland Hills and all around rolling farmland.  The house itself is also very handsome.  The setting and the views are in fact amongst several surprises as West Lothian is not often thought of as a beautiful county.

The Wilsons, who own Bonnington House, have spent several years putting together a collection inspired by the landscape and the environment, with spectacular results.

The visitor walks through a trail finding surprising and striking creations in first one clearing, then another.  Sometimes abstract, sometimes almost realistic but always with a twist and a thought.  The park features many works and several working artists.  Some have been made in residence at Jupiter Artland while other pieces have been brought in.  However, they are always constructed to meld into the park almost organically.

As one artist put it, it was important to see the land in the round, to see Artland as a concept rather than simply 'a parking lot for exhibits'.  I liked that description.

The visitor must pick their own highlights but I was taken with a caged vortex, 5 rather sinister weeping girls and the massive spiral earth mounds musing on the cycle of life and the cell as an essential building block of creation.

I described this as a hidden gem because I was not aware of Jupiter Artland before and it is visually striking, beautifully presented with excellent facilities and provocative.   It is an essential visit around Edinburgh whether you are an art fan or not.

Have a look at their website if you want to see more...


  1. I've lived twenty minutes down the road from this for 11 years & had never heard of it till now. Must get down there.

  2. It's stunning and of real international importance I'm told! And it is in W Lothian! Have a look on their website and go if you can! I only heard about it two weeks ago!