Contemporary artwork to be shown at the Queen's Balmoral Castle for first time

A piece of contemporary art is being displayed at Balmoral Castle for the first time as part of an exhibition to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The installation, Salmon School, created by artist Joseph Rossano, consists of 250 mirrored glass forms, suspended in the air to look like a school of wild salmon.

The installation aims to highlight the plight of wild salmon and the importance of salmon conversation, as climate change and biodiversity loss threaten their existence in the wild.

Hide Ad

It will take centre stage at the Platinum Jubilee exhibition, Life at Balmoral, which will be on show in the castle ballroom between April 1 and August 2 this year.

Artist Joseph Rossano views his art installation The Salmon School on display in the Castle Ballroom at the opening of Life at Balmoral, part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Pic: Andrew Milligan
Hide Ad

Mr Rossano said: “The Salmon School is an international collaborative performance project that contextualises the finality of a seemingly infinite resource.

“A synthesis of art and science, the Salmon School fosters environmental awareness, bringing together diverse communities for a greater good — cold, clean water.

Hide Ad

“Embracing art’s ability to disarm, to make something beautiful — a sculpture mimicking an ideal, a restored ecosystem — the project achieves measurable change through its actions and initiatives.”

First conceived and shown in the Pacific Northwest in the US, Salmon School was then shown at Cop26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021.

Hide Ad
Assistant Curator Sarah Hoare views toy cars used by young royals. Pic: Andrew Milligan

Salmon conservation work has been supported by the Queen, the Royal Family and the Balmoral Estate on the River Dee over the last 170 years.

Hide Ad

The Balmoral Estate works closely with the River Dee Trust to deliver practical salmon restoration to help protect the endangered fish.

Most recently, across Deeside, the River Dee Trust and Dee District Salmon Fishery Board have introduced a One Million Trees campaign to plant riverbank trees, to help restore the Dee and save its salmon.

Hide Ad

Trees are said to have multiple benefits in helping wild salmon to thrive, including providing shade over the water, nourishment through leaves and insects, and helping to stabilise the riverbanks to prevent erosion.

Amodel of Balmoral Castle, started by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954. Pic: Andrew Milligan
Hide Ad

In the last five years, the Balmoral Estate has planted 300,000 trees along the River Dee, which is internationally renowned as one of the UK’s finest salmon rivers, attracting anglers from around the world..

A message from the Editor:

Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription at

Hide Ad
Assistant curator Sarah Hoare views the art installation The Salmon School, by artist Joseph Rossano, as it goes on display in the Castle Ballroom at Balmoral. Pic: Andrew Milligan
Assistant curator Sarah Hoare adjusts outfits worn by Queen Elizabeth II whilst at Balmoral. Pic: Andrew Milligan
Hide Ad
Unique venue for exhibition: Balmoral Castle



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.