Jupiter Artland Visit
As part of our Visual Research Methods module we visited Jupiter Artland on the 4th of October 2017. Jupiter Artland is an 80-acre park, just outside of Edinburgh, filled with different contemporary and thought provoking pieces of art which we were allowed exclusive access to have a look at. We were given a map of the park depicting where each of the art pieces were and told that they had been carefully placed in relevance to their subject matter and meaning. There is no set way to view the park and is open to be discovered for yourself and decide your own path.
One of the Staff greeted the class and gave us a tour of the attractions and some information on the artists and the meaning of the pieces. One of the most appealing and interesting sculptures I saw was “Weeping Girls” created by Laura Ford as shown below.
The Weeping Girls sculpture was conceived when one of Ford’s friends told her of a story of her child’s inconsolable tantrum. The statues offer a contrast to the melancholic atmosphere in the park by depicting the different stages of the tantrum raging from sobbing to uncontrollable and tempestuous rage. The guide showing us about mentioned that to Adults the piece seems like a horror piece meant to scare whereas children feel sympathetic towards the statues as they look vulnerable and distressed; personally I think this shows how psychology and judgement changes with maturity and age.
Another thought provoking and interesting art piece I seen at Jupiter Artland was “Landscape With Gun and Tree” by Cornelia Parker.
After the opening of Jupiter Artland Parker spent time discovering the landscape and deciding how to make her mark and eventually came to a conclusion very personal to Robert and Nicky, the art collectors that established the park, a hugely proportioned version of Robert’s shotgun propped against a huge tree as if it was left by a games keeper. The piece provokes the reminder of Human presence that is everywhere even in nature and the violence and distruction of the cocked shotgun.
At the very beginning of the artland is the biggest piece of work and it is the landsape itself, it is called “Cells of Life” by Charles Jencks. At the end of my visit I took a while to walk round the mounds and take in the work it must’ve took to create the area.
Jencks being an architectural theorist and landscape architect designed the eight landforms based around the basis of life. It comes from the way a cell divides into two in stages called mitosis which is presented in a red sandstone rill. The large sweeping circles represent the many organelles inside units of life. From above, the layout presents the early division into membranes and nuclei and really captures the very early starting point for life and gives a really interesting opening to the huge park.
To conclude my visit to Jupiter Artland it was extremely helpful, interesting and most of all educational and helped me realise the broad range of artforms that are out there. It also taught me not to be so niche in regards to my Graphic Design course and accept all design into my interests as art. The park was extremely unique and a very immersive environment to be in and would definetly return as I feel that you could learn something new every time you vistied.