By Graham Young
The pre-trip risk assessment was trickier than usual. None of the sculptures are dangerous themselves but their location, mostly in the woodland walk, presents some issues. We had to look out for tripping hazards (tree roots) for the ambulant members of the group and to some extent how steep the pathways were for wheelchairs. Ground conditions would have been worse if there had been prolonged heavy rain in the days before the visit. Luckily the September weather behaved itself.
Jupiter Artland is a privately owned estate with the Wilson family home (off limits) in the middle of the site. All around are sculptures by Sir Anish Kapoor, Sir Anthony Gormley, James Lambie, Andy Goldsworthy, Cornelia Parker, and many, many more.
Laura Ford’s work called “Weeping Girls” was particularly poignant with bronze casts depicting little girls in rags, some of who appeared to be crying while others seemed to be leaning into trees and counting to a hundred in some long-ago game of hide and seek that never ends. One did seem to be happy jumping off an earthen mound. The latest work in Artland, an intricately designed swimming pool by Joana Vasconcelos called “Gateway”, is a most colourful addition in the shape of a large splash.
In two and a half hours we only scratched the surface of this fascinating venue and there were acres of ground which will have to wait for another visit or two.