Sunday, June 20, 2010

Art, knitting, salsola soda – where to start?

Roger and Helen left yesterday, for London, then Paris, then London again, then CT, then (for Roger) Africa again. We have reached the stage in life where I found myself thinking of my favourite literary parting, Brutus to Cassius (or perhaps the other way around) before Philippi:

If we should meet again, why, we shall smile.
If not, why then this parting was well made.

Jupiter Artland was – is – terrific. Seize the chance, if you can. The owners, Wilson by name, bought a country house near Edinburgh only last year and have made a sculpture park of the grounds. They have commissioned every living sculptor I have ever heard of (Gormley, Kapoor, Goldsworthy), and people whose work I recognised although I didn’t know their names (Charles Jencks and that man who paints stripes on the floor)

and a good many more. (That's Roger, who sat down to fiddle with his camera.) Almost all the work was made for a specific place chosen by the artist; much of it was made on the site.

One walks through a woodland garden and discovers these remarkable things, unlabelled, unfenced, unguarded but, where appropriate, the grass about them tended if need be with nail scissors.

Helen had a cold and was, I think, exhausted by Africa and travel. She stayed here. This is a picture of Roger and my husband looking at the Kapoor.

There was even knitting. An artist none of us knew, Shane Waltener, had contributed both a temporary installation in the woodshed (originally “commissioned by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York for the touring exhibition 'Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting'”):

and a permanent piece on the edge of the woods:

(Maybe Mrs Wilson is a knitter?)

The remarkable thing is the dimension such art acquires by being experienced like that instead of, bewilderingly, in galleries or even in the courtyard of the Royal Academy.

And it was amusing to think of the contrast with Pollphail (my blog entry, June 3), which was also an occasion when art was experienced directly. Arte povera, in that case; as opposed to arte ricca, here. Mr Wilson is chairman of a company called Nelson Homeopathy which must be rather profitable.

Salsola soda will have to wait. Here are the Green Granite Blocks this morning:


  1. Jupiter Artland looks very interesting. Did you ever go to Charles Jencks' Garden of Cosmic Speculation? The fact that Mr Wilson's products are almost entirely water would certainly help keep his profits buoyant.

  2. Anonymous2:12 PM

    Your Green Granite Blocks are beautiful Jean! I am wondering about the finishing details on this sweater though- there must be hundreds of ends to weave in. Are you weaving them in as you go, or waiting until the end?


  3. Now that is impressive lace knitting. What an interesting display.

  4. I've been on the road traveling for research for the last month, but I noticed in the latest Vogue Knitting, a sweater pattern being offered by the Jamieson and Smith wool brokers in honor of Knit Camp-- have you seen it?

    Thought that might interest you....