In the capital's outer space – a park called Jupiter shines with art stars

TUCKED away on a country estate outside Edinburgh Airport, largely hidden from passing traffic, one of the most extraordinary additions to Scotland's 21st-century art scene is nearing completion.

Marc Quinn's 12-metre-high statue, a ten-headed orchid titled Love Bomb, shows, in the artist's words, a "modified flower at once monstrous and seductively beautiful".

It is just one of a collection of dramatic outdoor artworks created by the world's leading sculptors which will sit in the 90-acre Jupiter Artland, the creation of a wealthy art-loving Scottish couple. It is already being hailed as a world-class attraction that promises to put Edinburgh firmly on the modern art map.

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It comprises new work commissioned direct from the artists, including Anish Kapoor, one of the world's most influential sculptors, and Andy Goldsworthy OBE, the Scottish-based sculptor who works with natural wood and stone.

There are also new works from Angel of the North sculptor Antony Gormley, and the late Ian Hamilton Finlay.

Gormley's work is Firmament, a huge figure kneeling down, while Kapoor has created Suck, which resembles a never-ending swirling hole in the ground.

A "land-form" covering nearly four acres by the architect Charles Jencks, who created the award- winning landscape sculpture in front of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, can easily be seen by people flying in and out of the airport.

The site, at Bonnington House Steadings in Kirknewton, is the brainchild of Nicky Wilson, a former art teacher and sculptor, and her husband Robert, chairman of Nelson's, which makes homeopathic medicines.

Ms Wilson, a Chelsea Art College graduate, said that after training as a sculptor, she found herself raising a family "in this beautiful house outside Edinburgh with this land with a magical quality". The project, which will open to the public for three days a week from 15 May, was inspired by visits as a student to Little Sparta, Ian Hamilton Finlay's sculpture garden in the Pentland Hills.

"It's in response to the house, and my love of art and my husband's love of art," said Ms Wilson."The idea is to get high-quality work privately, so we don't ask anyone for opinions. It's our dream, we've not really taken advice at all."

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About 20 people have worked on the project in the past three or four years. "It's like building a pyramid. It's a massive project."

Simon Groom, director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said: "It's unbelievable what they have done. I can't think of anything that parallels this. For anywhere it's extraordinary, but just outside of Edinburgh it's utterly amazing."

Ms Wilson said a small fee will be charged for entry to Artland, with the money going to an education foundation providing free facilities to local schools.

Along with Little Sparta, Artland will add to Edinburgh's reputation as an art hub with leading public and private galleries and collections.

Its opening will be particularly welcome in a summer that will see two major galleries, the City Art Centre and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, closed for major overhauls.

"It is a very good addition to the Edinburgh art scene," said Selina Skipwith, keeper of the Fleming Collection of Scottish art in London. "It is a good solid list of international artists."

Mr Groom said the couple have not bought "off the shelf" works but invited artists to make works specially for the site.


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JUPITER Artland includes Life Mound, a work by the Dumfriesshire architect and landscape designer Charles Jencks, with a second work by him planned. It features Temple Apollo and a bridge, Only Connect, by Ian Hamilton Finlay, and Stone Wood and other works by Andy Goldsworthy.

Marc Quinn, most famous for his sculpture Alison Lapper Pregnant, has created Love Bomb.

Firmament, by Antony Gormley, shows a huge figure kneeling. Other artists include Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker, Peter Liversidge, Shane Waltener, Laura Ford and Alec Finlay.