Swimming pool work of art to be created for Jupiter Artland sculpture park

A fully-functional swimming pool will be created for a vast outdoor art gallery near Edinburgh Airport to mark its 10th anniversary.

Wednesday, 1st November 2017, 7:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:35 am
Joanna Vasconcelos previously created sculptures of blue champagne bottles for the Palace of Versailles in France.
Joanna Vasconcelos previously created sculptures of blue champagne bottles for the Palace of Versailles in France.

A leading Portugese artist will be creating painted tiles, sculptures and a pool house for Jupiter Artland.

The sculpture park, which was shortlisted for Britain’s museum of the year prize in 2016 and has attracted more than 300,000 visitors over the last decade.

Joana Vasconcelos’s “ornamental swimming pool installation,” which visitors will be able to swim in at certain times, will be created within the Italian garden in the grounds of Bonnington House, where Jupiter Artland opened in 2009 after several years in the making.

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Around 100 acres of woodland and meadows surrounding the Jacobean manor house have become home to striking artworks over the last decade.

Charles Jencks, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Andy Goldsworthy, Anya Gallaccio, Cornelia Parker and Christian Boltanski have all been commissioned by owners Robert and Nicky Wilson.

Vasconcelos’s nine-metre long pool is due to open at the end of July at Jupiter Artland, which was bought by the couple in 1999.

A spokeswoman for Jupiter Artland said: “The pool will be covered by hand-painted Portuguese tiles depicting an exuberant composition of vibrant colours and sinuous lines that draw the symbols of the zodiac.

"An accompanying structure designed by the artist will host objects from her collection of handmade crochet sculptures.”

Nicky Wilson said: “What is remarkable about Joana’s work is that it is so different to everybody else. It is founded in a kind of baroque lunacy.

“She’s an extraordinary artist. She has enormous hangar down by the docks in Lisbon where she has around 100 employees making her work. She is quite barking mad, but her ambition is quite remarkable. She doesn’t do subtle.

“I feel that we’ve always blurred the lines between art and play at Jupiter Artland. We want Joana’s work for us to be a real experience.

“The pool will be created in the middle of a kind of amorphous splat that Joana is creating. We’ll be using it quite judiciously for various events and people will definitely get the opportunity to swim in it.

“It’s not going to be a public pool, as such. It’s going to be a sculpture, first and foremost. We want are going to make it pretty special. We’ll be having a few pool parties.”