Minecraft Jupiter Artland is a chip off the old block
Sculpture park Jupiter Artland has been recreated in Minecraft, allowing people to explore it virtually even if they are unable to visit.
The park, near Wilkieston in West Lothian, features works by artists including Sir Antony Gormley, Sir Anish Kapoor, Charles Jencks and Ian Hamilton Finlay spread over a 100-acre site.
The sculptures have been recreated in Minecraft, the video game that allows players to build using blocks, in a virtual world which is opening again as the park prepares to reopen to local members on Thursday and to local visitors from April 5.
Players can explore the site virtually in the Minecraft Artland and build their own creations outside the gates, while a competition is running to design a sculpture which will be given a permanent place in the digital park.
Eleanor Edmondson, digital arts and marketing co-ordinator at Jupiter Artland, said: "It is amazing to see young people engage with the Artland in a whole new way, a little slice of Jupiter magic from home.
"Jupiter Artland in Minecraft combines the otherworldly magic of the Artland with the aesthetics of Minecraft - exceptional artworks by Antony Gormley, Anya Gallaccio, Tania Kovats and Charles Jencks have been painstakingly recreated with the well-known Minecraft blocks.
"Emerging from a year like no other, Minecraft provides a familiar and safe platform for children to learn about art."
The Minecraft version of Jupiter Artland was first created in 2016 with the help of Dr Tom Flint, from Edinburgh Napier University, and students, but initially could only be accessed inside the park.
During lockdown last year the park made the Minecraft Artland accessible from anywhere to give people an opportunity to engage with art even while museums and galleries were shut.
This year it also features the winner of last year's sculpture competition - a design by a local boy.
Claire Feeley, head of exhibitions and learning programmes at Jupiter Artland, said: "We are thrilled to unveil our first permanent digital commission in Minecraft: Waterfall Of Knowledge, designed by eight-year-old Adam Hartley, from West Lothian.
"Creativity is essential for young people's wellbeing and, during lockdown, platforms like Jupiter Artland in Minecraft allow kids of all ages to test their design skills. Sixty-five percent of young people entering primary school today will work in an entirely new job that doesn't yet exist.
"In this new world, digital creativity is a valuable skill and at Jupiter we are supporting young people in their learning journeys.
"This year's theme is The World Upside Down, inspired by Scottish artist Rachel Maclean's new 'upside down' artwork available to the public to view this summer.
"We want to see designs that challenge us to see the world from a new perspective - what future do young people want as we emerge from the pandemic?"
People can still enter the competition even if they do not have Minecraft, by sending a drawing or making a sculpture and sharing a photo of it.
A digital Minecraft Easter egg hunt is also running.
Jupiter Artland was founded in 2009 by philanthropist art collectors Robert and Nicky Wilson, and is home to more than 30 permanent and unique site-specific sculptures.
There is also a seasonal programme of exhibitions and events.
- Information about how to access Minecraft Artland and take part in the competition can be found at https://www.jupiterartland.org/sessions/minecraft-competition-2021/?mc_cid=e016b345e5&mc_eid=8f02b0c253