Robert and Nicky Wilson bought Bonnington House, a Jacobean manor house within an 100-acre estate, in 1999. Within a few years, the formal gardens, fields and woodlands surrounding this historic house began to suggest the perfect milieu for Nicky Wilson's long-held ambition to create a sculpture park.
Nicky, herself a sculptor manque since the birth of her four children had always been deeply influenced by Ian Hamilton Finlay's Little Sparta, some thirty miles as the crow flies, from Bonnington. Here, she believed, in this ancient place with reputed Knights Templar connections, art and nature, home and family, livestock and the footfall of those interested in contemporary sculpture could all co-exist. She and Robert, as serious collectors, knew many leading contemporary artists. Why not provide them with the opportunity to create new works in their grounds? They couldn't find any reason not to. So Jupiter Artland began to take shape.
During Year 3 at Jupiter Artland we allowed the land to rest. For a whole year there had been no earth moving scarring the land and it healed itself allowing the works of 2010 to sit naturally in the woods. It’s over time that we are learning the benefits of getting to know the work well. The challenging work of Nathan Coley has settled into the landscape – no less confronting but more at home. We have finally finished the “Cells of Life” landform and to celebrate we have asked Charles Jencks to show his studio works. These studio works inform his landscape practice and illuminate his humour and playfulness but also his serious investigations into rocks, cosmos and science.
Visitors to Jupiter Artland are given a map indicating the location of the artworks within the grounds. But there's no set route. Clockwise or anticlockwise is your choice. As is a left turn here or a right turn there; or the retracing of steps for a second look. The artworks are land marks, events, confrontations on a journey of discovery; an open-ended journey. If you enjoy Jupiter Artland we hope you will return. If you do, over time, you will come across new installations in the park and hopefully come to appreciate more fully the concept of this unfolding story or continual work-in-progress.
Thu – Sun, 10am – 5pm