Getting to Know... Jupiter Artland

Find out more about the five Museum of the Year finalists with our Q&As. This time Jupiter Artland talks about landscapes green, works unseen and the visit of a queen.


Age: I am seven years old.

Describe yourself in three words: Green, gorgeous and inspiring.

What’s new with you? Exhibitions featuring enormous wicker baskets by Ditte Gantris and a charm of finches plucking electric guitars by Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, as well as a new digital project, Jupiter Artland: In Minecraft.

What is your most treasured possession? The land itself, as it has inspired the unique and wonderful art that has been made for it.

Who’s been your most famous visitor? I have quite a few: HRH the Princess Royal, John Le Carre, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Ian Rankin, Tilda Swinton and Judy Murray. But who knows who's sneaked in unnoticed!

Is there a museum/gallery pet? Percy the peacock is a big favourite with all of the visitors, especially the children. I also have sheep, pigs and even an alpaca living within my grounds.

I shouldn't leave without experiencing... the Coppice Room by Andy Goldsworthy or The Light Pours Out of Me by Anya Gallaccio – both works are slightly hidden so you have to look carefully on the map to find them. But trust me, it's worth the effort!

What’s been your biggest success? By the end of 2016 nearly 45,000 people will have had free access to my collections through my year-round learning programmes.

You have a museum crush on… the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. I am continually inspired by the location, art and audience participation programmes on offer at this incredible institution.

You’re most happy when… there is the gentle buzz of people enjoying, exploring and discovering the wonderful art in my stunning landscape.

What do you most like about your appearance? The gardening team take very good care of me and always try to keep me looking my best. The Charles Jencks landforms need to be trimmed weekly and the gardeners have to fish out grass cuttings from the ponds with nets!

And dislike? I don’t like it when it rains and I get a bit muddy, but sometimes this can transform the works and give the viewer an entirely new experience – the gleam of wet metal in Anish Kapoor’s Suck or the lustre of the thousands of steel rods in Firmament by Antony Gormley.

This year you’re excited about... a new permanent work, Animitas, by Christian Boltansk​i that's to be installed this August. There'll be an accompanying gallery show in which visitor's heartbeats will be recorded to become part of the artist's Les Archives du Cœur.

If you were named Museum of the Year you would... transform my existing gardening sheds into a new learning space that allows free access to twice as many people. I'd also improve my visitor services and establish an online training portal for my committed volunteers.

Visit Jupiter Artland's Museum of the Year page.

Entry to Jupiter Artland is free with a National Art Pass until 31 August.

Venue details

Jupiter Artland Bonnington House Steadings, Wilkieston Midlothian EH27 8BY 01506 889 900

Entry details

Free entry with National Art Pass (standard entry £8.50)*

*Until 31 August 2016

May to September (dates vary): Daily, 10am - 5pm

Tags: art-fund-prizeMuseums and galleriesmuseum-of-the-year