The opening of the fantastic collection of commissioned art works from contemporary artists at Jupiter Artland is a shining examplar of 21st century private arts patronage.
Commissions installed currently include two huge land forms from Charles Jencks and works from Iain Hamilton Finlay, Cornelia Parker, Antony Gormley, Marc Quinn, Anish Kapoor , Andy Goldsworthy, Peter Liversidge, Alec Finlay and Laura Ford, to be followed by a work from Nathan Coley.
In addition to the very significant costs of commissioning these works, the maintenance costs will be substantial and the income generated from sales goes into an arts education trust, representing major patronage from Robert and Nicky Wilson, part of the Wilson family which owns Nelsons healthcare which includes the old homeopathic brand and Bach Flower Remedies.
Private art collectors have always been the major patrons of art, and public museums have always been dependent on the collectors for loans and bequests. Private collections, like the Bridgewater Collection, hold extensive treasures on which National Galleries are dependent. The recent successful partnership between Antony D’Offay, the National Galleries of Scotland and the Tate has resulted in the national programme of contemporary art Artists Rooms. But many other collections remain in private hands.
Jupiter Artland’s works are largely contemporary environmental art and sculptures and so the setting is integral to the work. What differentiates Jupiter Artland from other settings is the location and access. Whereas access is restricted by facilities, resources and desire for privacy at Charles Jencks’ Garden of Cosmic Speculation at Portrack House and Iain Hamilton Finlay’s Little Sparta, Jupiter Artland is open all during August. You book your car in and drive in through the landforms. This is both thrilling and worrying,
Even better is the location. In contrast to other privately endowed art collections which are open to the public, such as Mount Stuart , Jupiter Artland is firmly embedded in the central belt of Scotland. Bonnington House, West Lothian turns out to be close to that industrial intersection between the motorways from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and the Forth Road Bridge, the Newbridge Roundabout. Its a bus ride from Edinburgh. Its close to the shopping outlets at Livingston. If you were building a facility accessible to the majority of people in Scotland, it would be there.
Oh and you can take photos everywhere and promote them on blogs, Flickr etc, another example of the access which we expect in the 21st century.
Thank you, Mr and Mrs Wilson.