Gateway

Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh | Joana Vasconcelos

Gateway, Jupiter Artland, UK - Photo © Allan Pollok-Morris, courtesy of Jupiter Artland
Gateway, Jupiter Artland, UK - Photo © Allan Pollok-Morris, courtesy of Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland is one of Scotland’s most significant arts organisations, with five gallery spaces and an expansive outdoor sculpture collection, featuring landscaped gardens and 33 permanent site-specific commissioned artworks from some of the world’s most significant artists. Jupiter Artland is a registered charity, founded by the philanthropist art collectors Robert and Nicky Wilson, now with 33 permanent site-specific works across 120 acres of Woodland and meadows. For the latest permanent commission, Joana Vasconcelos and Jupiter Artland have been collaborating with master craftspeople, architects and engineers across Portugal and Scotland to transform the artist’s brightly coloured designs for Gateway into a fully functioning 9-metre swimming pool in the formal gardens of Jupiter enclosed by the Sun Gate and the Moon Gate, which are aligned with the centre point of the circular swimming pool.

Gateway, Jupiter Artland, UK - Photo Allan Pollok-Morris, courtesy of Jupiter Artland

Making connection with her native Portugal, Gateway contains 11,366 hand-painted and fired Portuguese tiles. An immense technical achievement, the process of designing and producing each tile employed both traditional and cutting-edge technologies, taking the combined efforts of a team of engineers and architects at Vasconcelos’ studio as well as artisans at the 200-year old tile producers Viuva Lamego. Flowing from the geometry of the pool, Jupiter’s senior gardener Thomas Unterdorfer worked with Nicky Wilson on the design of the surround garden, bringing together just over 3,000 yew trees, boxwood, beech and Portuguese laurel to create a rich green tapestry defined by clipped topiary balls and lollipop-like trees.

Gateway, Jupiter Artland, UK - Photo Allan Pollok-Morris, courtesy of Jupiter Artland

Incorporating patterns from the artist’s own astrological chart, the geometry of the pool flows from an understand of the spiritual dimension of place. ‘I had to discover about the energy meridians of the earth. We adapted to these things and the pool is a way of maintaining energy flow. In the universe, you are always connected to the stars and so connecting with the sky and the earth seemed proper.’

Photo © Allan Pollok-Morris, courtesy of Jupiter Artland